JIS News

If criminal activities are to be controlled and illegal guns taken off the streets, citizens must partner with the police.
This was emphasised by Senior Superintendent of Police, Paul Ferguson, as he addressed members of the Kiwanis Club of Providence, at a meeting held at the Wexford Court Hotel, in Montego Bay, St. James, on December 10.
Superintendent Ferguson, who operates out of the Area 1 Headquarters in St. James, said that the culture of crime, which was a larger social problem, has impacted the lives of literally all Jamaicans and would take more than Government or Police action to solve.
“What we have on our hands is a culture of crime and it’s going to take some time to reverse it. Collectively, as a society, I believe that by our actions or inactions, we have sat by and allowed the culture to develop. A great deal depends on citizens co-operating with the police. Frankly, the police cannot manage without the help of citizens. They should be alert and look out for the sudden return of gunmen as well as the arrival of strangers in the community and inform the police promptly,” he pointed out.
He stressed that citizens of the country would not be safe until the illegal guns have been recovered, and the perpetrators are placed behind bars.
“The whole justice system is now being overhauled and I hope we will see some positive results in the near future. We must unite (as police and citizens), and not allow ourselves to be pushed over the cliff. Some levels of partnerships have been happening and the police have been able to carry out successful raids, resulting in the capture or killing of gunmen. But the police need more information,” Superintendent Ferguson said.
“Even if the police had its full complement, it cannot protect every community in Jamaica on a 24-hour basis. The gunmen know of the weakness of the police force and believe that they can kill and get away with it, so the citizens have to share in the protection of the communities, by providing information to the police,” he added.
He argued that violent crimes constituted one of the greatest social problems facing the country at this time, and suggested that the time was right for transformative thinking and a transformative approach to the problem of serious crimes in the country.
“Transformation is about change. It begins with having the will and the courage to change. If law enforcement is to receive the full and sustained support of all segments of the society, respect from the security forces, justice in the courts and on the streets will not only have to be real, it will also have to appear real. Government does not have all the answers to crime. Initiatives through community organisations, such as the Kiwanians, should be endorsed, encouraged and facilitated,” Superintendent said.

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