More Police to be Deployed in North Coast Areas


Montego Bay and other north coast towns should see an increase in the number of police deployed in these areas by the end of this year. Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips announced on Wednesday (Oct. 22) that new graduates from the Police training school would take up duties in these areas.
Addressing police personnel and journalists at the Montego Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay, Minister Phillips pointed out that there were approximately 450 recruits currently in training.
“We are training the numbers available as quickly as we can. I believe there are 450 currently in training, one hundred plus will be graduating at the end of November or thereabout, and of that number I know that special attention is going to be directed to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril and areas along the north coast,” he said.
Dr. Phillips, mentioning that the government was cognisant of the urgent need to address the mobility of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), said that efforts were being made to secure additional vehicles for the force.
The National Security Minister was in Montego Bay to get a first hand report on the crime situation in that city, particularly as it relates to the recent stand off between alleged gunmen and members of the JCF in the community of Canterbury.
Dr. Phillips told the audience that he was fully aware that the Canterbury incident was just a small element of a growing problem of armed criminal gangs, which had taken root in some of the communities in Montego Bay. “It is important that we refine our strategies, and that we effectively uproot what is there, before the roots deepen and take full hold,” he said.
He emphasised that much of the work that had to be done was intelligence work, adding that the National Intelligence Bureau had already begun its operations in collaboration with other intelligence agencies, to effectively identify persons involved in criminal activities.
Pointing out that he attached equal importance to the social and community side of the problem, the Minister said he had indicated to members of the Peace Management Initiative, the need to engage the community in discussions, so as to provide interventions to prevent future confrontations.
He underscored the need for the police to be ready and equipped, however, in situations where no other identifiable resolution was in sight. He said that the government would be exploring what needed to be done in the medium term, to prevent a recurrence of such a situation.

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