AG rejects UNC motion against gov’t on crime; calls them obstructionists

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AG rejects UNC motion against gov’t on crime; calls them obstructionists

Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, has rejected claims by the United National Congress that the government is contributing to the breakdown of the social safety net.

Instead, he called the Opposition party obstructionists.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on Friday, on a motion brought by the Opposition that called on the House to condemn the Government for its failure to effectively address the unacceptable and serious crime level, Armour said: “The records will show that on this subject of the social safety net, the Opposition is being deliberately obstructionist and acting to the detriment of the people of this country.”

He said every time the Government takes legislation to the House to protect citizens, the Opposition continues to derail it.

Armour said: “We only have to reflect on the attempt of this Government last year July, in trying to pass the Bail Amendment Extension of Duration Bill in 2022.”

“In the face of a real and present danger to this country by gun-wielding criminals, the Opposition did not see it fit to support the Government’s attempts to pass the legislation subject to judicial oversight to keep certain categories of persons on trial for firearms-related offences behind bars until their trials came up, so they’re now back in the streets and we come here to debate a motion on the Government’s failure on crime,” he said.

“Madame Speaker, the Opposition is steadfastly opposing the Government in withholding support from essential legislation that is intended to enhance and secure the lives of the citizens of this country,” he said.

Armour said the Opposition also did not support the Interception of Communications Amendment Act which was proclaimed in January 2021, stating that even now there are attempts in court to challenge it. He said there are also attempts in court to challenge the Anti-Gang legislation, by people closely associated with the Opposition.

The AG pointed out that the government has made significant improvements to the criminal justice system and reminded the House that it was this current administration that passed legislation to allow prison officers to be armed after leaving work, as part of the strides being made to tackle crime.

He also noted that electronic identification parades, digital recording of interviews, increased installation of closed-circuit television cameras and speed detection devices are some of the technological advances in addressing crime.

Armour said the government has also improved the accommodation of law enforcement officers, giving the Moriah Police Station, the St Mary’s Police Station and St Clair Police Station as examples.

“On the facts that I have listened to here today and that have been previously presented by those on the Government’s side in answer to this motion, it is clear that this motion is misleading, misguided and is designed to get the optics on social media for the next press conference,” Armour added.