10/10/2014 04:34 EDT | Updated 12/10/2014 05:59 EST

Newfoundland and Labrador premier reverses position on Justice Department

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis has reversed a decision to rebrand the province's Justice Department and is restoring its old name.

In a statement released late Friday, Davis says the Department of Public Safety is being renamed the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

The premier had renamed the department two weeks ago, with his minister of public safety saying that a spate of violent crime had inspired the change.

But Davis says he decided to reverse the decision after hearing concerns that the new name may cause confusion.

Some lawyers were more blunt in their assessment of the earlier decision, with one calling the change nonsense and fear-mongering.

Davis, a former police officer, had made crime a central message in his push for the Progressive Conservative leadership.