Since the start of the year, the parish of St. Elizabeth has seen a 24 per cent reduction in major crimes, with a 38 per cent drop in the murder rate, over the same period of 2011.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Derrick Cochrane, who heads the Area Three Police Division, credited the improvement to the hard work of the police in the parish under the leadership of Superintendent Dezeita Taylor.
ACP Cochrane, who was addressing the launch of a mobile police station in Cuffes Pen, Lacovia on Tuesday (May 8), urged the residents of the parish “to join in the crusade against crime and criminality”.
“We must return St. Elizabeth to its once pristine glory of being a very low crime rate parish. We want to forge good and lasting relationships with you, because this is the solution, as together, we the police and you, the citizens… fight this crime monster,” he said.
He told the residents of Cuffes Pen to be on the lookout for “migrating criminals” as well as local ones, who may be seeking refuge in the community from the long arms of the law.
“If you allow them to settle in your communities/neighbourhoods, they will ultimately turn their criminal activities on you. If you community members see something, you need to say something to the police. The battle against crime and criminality must be fought at the neighbourhood levels where they occur,” he stated.
Several agencies were on hand for the launch, including the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and ACP Cochrane, urged the farmers in the area to take the opportunity to register with the agency to benefit under the praedial larceny programme.
“If the crops are traceable, he noted, “the police will be better able to identify the right owner, thereby lessening praedial larceny”.
In her remarks, Superintendent Taylor called on the residents of Cuffes Pen to support the work of the police.
She stated that “in order for the police to effectively do the work we have been sworn to do we must be supported by our various publics. The area has potential for development, and we wish to assure you that our presence is to improve the area and attract improved investments."
Urging the residents to help keep the area crime-free, Custos of the parish, Hon. Wilfred Nembhard, said persons living in a community with a good reputation can enjoy sustained benefits.
“All of us, as members of the community, have an obligation to keep these communities safe, clean and prosperous. If we rundown the community we will lose; the value of our houses will go down. By keeping our communities a certain standard, by keeping our communities safe, says a lot for us and our future,” the Custos said.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter