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Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin has highlighted four main areas of crime fighting that should reduce crime, build citizen confidence in the Police, and strengthen the human capacity in the Force.
These include the dismantling of criminal networks, where persons involved in criminal activities are caught and punished; increased policing, which involves cordons and searches; curfews; and community policing, as a means to engage communities, so that their confidence level in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) can be raised.
The Commissioner also pointed out that serious attention must be paid to the quality of manpower in the JCF and the technology available to fight crime.He was addressing a public forum on June 6, put on by the Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA) in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.
“The long term sustainable reduction of crime and violence in the priorities outlined will have to work hand in hand with other partners, including the community. It will depend greatly on citizen participation and that is why we are driving forcefully, the issue of community policing. It involves stop and search and police personnel involved in community affairs, not only when there is a flair up in criminal activities, but even when things are calm,” the Commissioner said.
Mr. Lewin argued that the police and the people have the capacity to defeat all the criminal elements in the society, but warned that this could only be achieved when respect and trust are maintained on both sides.
“We must have a new phase of policing in Jamaica where we are professionals, relatively corrupt free, and citizen focus. Because, it is in working with citizens that we are going to achieve our aim. One of the things that will be coming is, more open fora with the local police where citizens demand answers from the Area Commanders, and have dialogue, as we seek to be accountable to the people,” the Commissioner said.