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JIS News

A committee, aimed at strengthening community security, was officially launched on June 8 in Bamboo River, St. Thomas.
This is part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) effort to promote community policing and enhance greater community safety.
The newly formed ‘Committee For Community Safety and Security’ will allow citizens of particular communities to take an active part in preserving and protecting their areas.
Corporal Ransford Smith of the Community Safety and Security Department of the JCF in St. Thomas, told JIS News that the idea is to allow citizens to become more active in the protection of their own property. “We want them to realise that policing is not only left up to the Police. So, we have formed a committee in the community where they would identify the crime problems, and we would help them to mobilize all the necessary agencies to help them deal with the crime problem,” he explained.
Bamboo River, a socially challenged unplanned community, was chosen randomly, he pointed out, adding that it forms part of a mandate given by Police Commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, for each police division to identify two communities to put in place community policing strategies.
“From that we will assess the progress of these communities over a period of time with a view to extending it to other communities,” Corporal Smith said. The other community identified in St. Thomas is Seaforth.
Most of the residents in the community have responded favourably to the formation of the committee, he noted. “We are getting the feeling that the people want this. It’s not a hundred per cent, because some of them are a bit tentative but they are coming and it’s looking very promising,” Corporal Smith added. He pointed out that at a recent community meeting, the members asked the police for a frank assessment of their area. “We had to tell them that, as the police, we know that there are undesirable characters, but that most of the community members are persons who want to do well and if given a chance, will do well. That makes us feel proud,” he said.

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