KINGSTON — With less than two months before the end of the year, Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, says 2011 is turning out to be the safest in four decades for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
He said that so far, there have been no reported deaths in the line of duty, which he attributed to the strong focus on safety and protection of members by Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington.
"It is something that has worked to the extent where we have not had any police die in the line of duty for 2011, making it one of the safest years for police in the last 40 years,” Senator Nelson said, while addressing the 4th annual Clarendon Police Appreciation Awards banquet held last night (November 6) in May Pen.
"The police are out there 24/7 protecting us and too often, they do this at the cost of their own lives, and I am really happy that nothing has happened this year, so far,” he added.
Turning to the continued downward trend in major crimes in the parish of Clarendon, the Minister praised Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dathan Henry, saying that “much of this success can be attributed to the quality and vision of the leadership of the divisional commander”.
"SSP Henry and his team have resolved to strengthen the law enforcement capabilities and confront gang activities in Clarendon. This kind of strategic action and planning strongly supports our number one priority of improving safety for all our citizens,” he stated.
There has been a 52 per cent drop in murders in Clarendon since the start of the year, with 66 less incidents over last year, while major crimes are down by 153 or 23 per cent.
Minister Nelson said that even as the Clarendon police continue to focus on reducing crime, they have also worked to solve incidents, and the parish now stands fourth in the country in terms of the clear-up rate of crimes.
More than 80 serving and retired members of the JCF were honoured for outstanding contribution to reducing crime in the parish.
Senator Nelson commended the award scheme organised by Custos of Clarendon, Hon. William ‘Billy’ Shagoury, who is Chairman of the Parish Crime Committee, and Deputy Chairman, Anthony Smatt, and pledged to replicate it “as much as possible”across the island.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter