Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, has appealed to the society to support the security forces’ ongoing efforts to curb crime, particularly in marginalized inner-city communities.
Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington responds to a question about the latest crime fighting initiatives, during Thursday’s (June 24) Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) Chairman’s Club Forum at the Hilton Kingston.
His plea came against the background of the joint police/military operations in the Corporate Area, which has now been expanded to St. Catherine, consequent on the recent unrest in West Kingston and a significant increase in shootings and murders in Spanish Town.
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 lamented that Jamaica is currently experiencing abnormal levels of violence and corruption, consequent on transnational organised crime impacting the society and threatening development.
He said that in some areas in which the operations are taking place, there are residents who have stopped making investments in themselves, and children who are not taking advantage of educational opportunities.
“You will see that there is this tendency to shift resources away from investments and just to squander on riotous consumption,” the Commissioner noted, while citing the need for assistance to be extended to these persons.
Alluding to West Kingston, Mr. Ellington contended that the security forces incursions into those communities were necessary.
“We could not allow that (unrest) to continue. That represented the tipping point..this country was on the brink of anarchy. So what has occurred since then, in terms of what the security forces have done, is to pull the country back from the brink of anarchy. So we have done for this country, a job that I am very sorry that many persons have not yet sat down to try and assess the value of it,” he said.
He said, however, that the leadership of both the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), understand the value of the work that has been done for the country, and are transmitting that value down through the ranks.
“That is why they have continued with the secondary operations with the zeal, the discipline and determination that they have pursued it over the last several weeks,” the Commissioner stated.
He assured that the nation’s security chiefs are committed to continuing the operations because, they believe that, in the end they will have restored law and order to the country, while stressing the need for the wider population’s full support and approval.
“That is why, at the centre of everything that we are doing, the main theme going through all of our operations is discipline, professionalism, respect for human rights. We are insisting on this, because we believe that we can only be successful, if we have the approval and the support of our fellow citizens,” Mr. Ellington stressed.