Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, is lobbying private sector support for the provision of jobs for residents of West Kingston, and other inner-city communities, who have been negatively impacted by the recent unrest in the Corporate Area.
Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington
The call came against the background of what, he said, were appeals for assistance made by residents during the joint police/military operations, involving the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), to curtail criminal activities.
Speaking at Thursday’s (June 24) Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) Chairman’s Club Forum at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, New Kingston, Mr. Ellington noted that appeals for jobs and other forms of support arose during discussions which the security forces had, on the ground, with “very influential leadership” in the communities.
The Commissioner pointed out that, contrary to society’s misconceptions, there are law-abiding people living in the affected areas who have assisted the security forces in their operations, and who want to see the rule of law re-established in their communities.
“They need your support. These citizens ask for jobs more than they beg for money. I believe that if the private sector wants to help, and you are serious about helping, (which) I think you are because you have engaged us and you have supported us, I think you need to turn now to the citizens in most of these inner-city communities and offer each individual, who is willing to work, a job,” Commissioner Ellington said.
“The gangs gave the communities nothing. All they did was generate insecurity, undermine development, and that can easily be replaced if the business community just extends a hand to these marginalised communities,” he added.
He said that the business community can do far more for the residents of the communities, than the gangs did.
In light of the results of the security forces’ incursions, Mr. Ellington stressed the need to dissuade citizens, particularly those in inner-city communities, from the view that they can entrust their security in the hands of criminals.
“The operations. were long overdue.the citizens need to understand this. We, as a country, must not lose this momentum. and I think the best way to maintain it (community stability) and to ensure that it is sustainable is to turn to the citizens now and offer them the support that they need,” the Commissioner concluded.