Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips is describing as the current mood of the country to what he sees as the lack of response to the country’s spiraling murder rate by the government, as one of “shock and hopeless!”

He’s recommending that the government pump an additional two billion dollars into the National Security budget among other things to tackle crime. He was speaking at a media briefing today at the PNP’s Old Hope Road headquarters in St. Andrew.

The country has now passed the 1000 mark for murders.

As at August 26, 1005 people have been murdered so far this year, exceeding the number in the corresponding period for last year by nearly two hundred.

That’s an almost 25-percent increase.

Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips is asking where’s the government’s response.

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He’s asking why the much talked about zones of special operations have yet to be announced despite a rush to pass the legislation that was signed into law over six weeks ago.

Dr. Phillips notes that with two children killed in Clarendon last week not even the nation’s children are safe.

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He’s recommending that the government restore 2-billion dollars he claims was slashed from the National security budget this fiscal year.

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Dr. Phillips is also calling on the government to move with haste to conclude police wage negotiations for the 2017-2019 contract period in an effort to restore the morale of JCF members.

The Opposition Leader wants a national stakeholder group to include all sectors of the country be convened on crime fighting.

Dr. Phillips is also calling on the government to expedite passing of Legislation to make the Major Organized Crime and Anti Corruption Agency, MOCA, an independent body.

However, he’s made some suggestions in light of the recent scandal rocking the Firearm Licensing Authority.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips is once again criticizing the rush to pass the Zones of Special Operations Bill.

He says based on the wait now to implement a Zone of Special operations more time could’ve been spent analyzing the legislation in Parliament.

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The Law Reform Zones of Special Operations was passed in the Senate on July 7 and gazetted on July 19.

During the run up to a vote in the Lower House to pass the legislation the Opposition raised concerns about the haste at which the government was attempting to pass the bill.

Dr. Phillips nows says there’s been enough time for the government to consider implementing a Zone of Special operations.

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Dr Phillips was speaking at a press conference earlier today at PNP Headquarters on Old Hope Road.