Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced two new multi million dollar funds to assist with the seizure of illegal weapons and capturing criminals.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Holness, announced a $100-million fund to reward people who provide information resulting in the seizure of illegal firearms, ammunition and explosives.
This is being implemented by the Ministry of National Security in partnership with Crime Stop and other organizations.
People will be required to call Crime Stop at 3-1-1 to provide the information.
The Prime Minister says members of the public will also be paid through Crime Stop to avoid any fear of being identified by the government.
The reward for rifles and submachine guns will be $150,000 dollars.
One-hundred thousand will be rewarded for semi automatic pistols and shotguns, and $75,000 for revolvers.
The Prime Minister says the reward for explosives and ammunition will be negotiable based on the amount seized. He also announced a $20-million fugitive apprehension fund.
It’s targeted at the country’s top 20 most wanted.
Both funds go live today.
Prime Minister Holness also declared a five day grace period which began on Sunday for illegal firearms found on premises within the Mount Salem Zone of Special Operations.
He says this will allow the security forces some discretion regarding the arrest and charge of people where a firearm has been found on their property.
Mr. Holness says this will not apply to firearms found on an individual. He says the grace period is to encourage law abiding members of the public to give information regarding illegal weapons.
However, the Prime Minister also made it clear that this grace period is not an amnesty against prosecution for gun crimes.