The business community has denied a declaration by National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, about a renewed and refocused collaboration between government and the private sector in tackling crime.
Both the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica and Small Business Association of Jamaica have expressed surprise at the statements which were made during the Minister's contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday.
Dr Chang expressed confidence that the government's strategy to fight crime would be successful, particularly because of the collaboration with the private sector. He spoke of renewed energy and alignment with the private sector as well as international development partners, plus public consensus in dealing with crime.
However, Hugh Johnson, President of the Small Business Association of Jamaica, has denied that this is something being experienced by his members. He explained that the changes needed for this type of collaboration to take place involve community engagement.
Howard Mitchell, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, has also agreed that there has been limited engagement with the government.
"While acknowledge that "we are seeing and feeling the presence of the security forces, in a good way, more," he insisted that "we have to go a little further than dialogue; we want to get into the plan and see the participation from the ground up, not from the top down."