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Press Release

The JCC calls on the government to immediately enact Stringent Legislation for those caught with Illegal Weapons

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The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Fourth Quarter Business and Consumer Business Indices Release revealed that majority of firms, 61% overall or 22% more firms than reported in the third quarter, cited crime and violence as the most critical problem the country faces at this time. On the contrary, the Business Confidence Index increased to 131.8 points (+8.2%) in the fourth quarter of 2021, demonstrating renewed confidence in the business outlook. As Jamaica is on the way to economic recovery, crime remains the most concerning issue facing all Jamaicans, and it has been significantly retarding Jamaica’s economic growth for decades. Jamaica’s murder rate topped the 1,000 mark for the first time in 2002 when the rate was 1,045. Between 2002 and 2021, Jamaica experienced an average murder rate of 1,338 murders for all 23 years. The Jamaica Constabulary Force reported that Jamaica recorded 72 murders in the first 15 days of 2022. Additionally, 35 people were injured in shootings since the start of year. The JCC calls on the government to immediately enact legislation that imposes stronger punishment for those caught with illegal weapons. The new legislation should ensure that if convicted, the sentence would be of such a duration as to be a significant deterrent for participation in any criminal activity, particularly the illegal possession of a firearm. If we are to create a society that is to be the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business, we must partner with all stakeholders and be vigilant in our pursuit.