Jamaica. At the beginning of the year, the government presented a comprehensive plan to reduce the “homeless crime” in the country. Among other things, all illegal arms trafficking would result in life imprisonment and more joint police and military actions in high crime areas. In 2002, more than 1,000 Jamaicans were murdered, often in street battles between various criminal gangs or between police and street gangs. In October, thousands of people demonstrated when two elderly men were killed in the crossfire between police and a street gang.
According to Countryaah.com, Jamaica Independence Day is August 6. Parliament approved in May the Government’s proposal to replace the British Privy Council as the highest court of appeal in criminal cases with a Caribbean court. A conflict had been going on for a long time between the Privy Council and the Jamaican authorities, who wanted to see a harder grip on the crime than the Privy Council was prepared to agree to. On several occasions, the Privy Council had opposed the application of the death penalty. The political opposition boycotted the ceremony in connection with the signing in June because they felt that the decision should have been preceded by a referendum.
In June, the notorious elite force within the police was dissolved, which had the task of combating arms and drug smuggling. The police unit had been severely criticized for violating its powers, e.g. by mistreating and arbitrarily executing suspected criminals.