Equal Attention must be given to Major and Minor Crimes – Nelson


National Security Minister, Senator Hon. Dwight Nelson, has said that law enforcement must take a zero tolerance approach to every form of offence, if Jamaica is to be reclaimed from the clutches of criminals.
He noted that while the authorities work to devise strategies to eliminate major crimes such as extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, cyber crimes, kidnapping, and gang-related violence, including murder and sexual offences, equal attention must be given to those offences deemed minor.
“We must also work with an equally critical approach to decisively address those illegal practices that we have a tendency to ignore. If we are going to target and address major crimes, then we will have to pay equal attention to what we might call the minor crimes, because it is the small offenders who, invariably, turn into large offenders,” Senator Nelson argued.
He was addressing a graduation ceremony for 28 municipal officers, who recently participated in a training course, on March 4 at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
According to the National Security Minister, law enforcement is mandated to prevent crime by enforcing the laws, assisting victims, maintaining public order and responding to emergencies whenever necessary.
He said that the municipal police has a critical role to play in the process. “The task of going into communities to support and complement the functions of other members of the national security mechanism is an important task that you will perform and which will help to foster and create or recreate a law abiding culture,” he pointed out.
He noted that the municipal patrol personnel with the support of traditional police organisations, will help community members mobilise support and resources to solve problems and enhance their quality of life.
“Reinvigorating communities is essential if we. are to deter crime and create more vital neighbourhoods. In some communities, it will take time to break down barriers of apathy and mistrust so that meaningful partnerships can be forged. Trust is the value that underlies and links the components of community partnership with problem solving. A foundation of trust will allow the police to form close relationships with the community and this relationship can and will produce solid achievements. Without trust between police and citizens, effective policing is impossible,” Senator Nelson underscored.
The 28 graduates, comprising 17 males and 11 females, completed a five-week training course at the Police Academy, which commenced on February 1.
Course co-ordinator, Constable Donovan Dixon, informed that the training provided the participants with the requisite knowledge, skills and competencies, to “enable them to understand and effectively perform their roles and functions in a professional and customer-oriented manner, on a daily basis.”
The curriculum, he explained, included courses in public speaking; psychology of self; inter-personal relationships and development; stress management; group dynamics and team building; statement writing; case file preparation and physical training.
The latest graduates are the seventh cohort intake since the inception of the course in 2008. The officers were drawn from St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, St. Ann and St. Mary, where they will be assigned to the respective parish Councils.
Ms. Kadian Hudson from Westmoreland was named Class Valedictorian.

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