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OCHO RIOS — Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington is appealing to Diaspora representatives from Canada, United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) to help the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) fight crime and violence in the country.

“As we (members of the JCF) put our lives on the line, all I am asking you to do is to put your influence at work for us; reach out to your brothers and sisters in Diaspora, discourage the purchase and export of guns and bullets to Jamaica. If they want to contribute to Jamaica, encourage them to send books, computers or tool kits, but no more guns,” Mr. Ellington urged.

The Commissioner was speaking at a Town Hall session at the Jamaican Diaspora Convention in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on June 16.

He pointed out that transnational organised crime is at the root of the violence problem in Jamaica, and assured that the JCF is working assiduously to tackle the problem, particularly   in dismantling criminal gangs across the country.

“We are taking, what we refer to as a centre of gravity approach to dealing with the problem. If we believe that 70 to 80 per cent of these serious crimes are committed by gangs, then we also believe that if we deal decisively with criminal gangs and resolve the organised crime problem in the country, we can significantly impact the crime,” he said.

The Commissioner said that statistics have shown that between the months of June 2010 and May 31, 2011, there was a total of almost 700 fewer murders committed in Jamaica.

“We also saw a significant drop in non-fatal gun attacks or shootings by criminals. We saw a reduction in murders, robberies, break-ins and other acts of criminal violence. We are also seeing a significant increase in policing activities. We ended last year with about 40 per cent more arrests for serious crimes than the year before and this year to date, we are 50 per cent up on arrest of criminals,” Commissioner Ellington said.

The three-day Jamaican Diaspora Convention, which began on June 15, is being held under the theme: ‘One Nation: Jamaica and its Diaspora in Partnership’.

 

By ALDEEN CAMPBELL, JIS Reporter