JIS News

The Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), has received a boost following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Social Development Commission (SDC), and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in support of its community policing programme.
Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, who spoke at the signing at the Courtleigh Hotel, called on the Jamaican community to join in the fight against crime, through the community policing initiative.
He further added that Jamaica must return to the era when citizens of a community worked hand in hand with the local police officers.
“Community policing is clearly one of the ways forward. There is a time when the local pastor, head teachers, nurses and local Justices of the Peace (JPs), were the kind of body although not formally put together, but which collaborated and worked with the local Constables, were part and parcels of community policing…and it worked,” he disclosed.
Citing the recent killing of 11 year old Ananda Dean and the two senior citizens in Clarendon, Senator Williams said that this partnership with the various organisations is critical to the process of advancing community policing.
“In this modern era it is a critical partnership between the organisations especially with the recent incidents of the murder of the little girl and the couple in Clarendon. The murder of the couple in Clarendon occurred in a community where people are, where they had neighbours. Let me say without apologies, it is going to require some tough measures because majority of our citizens need safer communities,” Senator Arthur Williams stated.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, announced that the JCF is pleased with the partnerships and will be increasing its policing efforts.
“The JCF is pleased with these partnerships and I am sure it will go a long way. We have a severe problem of crime and violence in our communities and we will be ramping up and increasing our community policing efforts, but at the same time, we have to ensure we have a capacity to deal with some of the more violent forms of challenges, so we are working on those two trajectories,” said Commissioner Lewin, adding that the JCF is going beyond endorsing this new initiative.
“The JCF has developed the widespread training, employment and practising of community policing throughout I have said, we have left the pilots..we are only in the roll out [phases]. The longevity of our success is not to merely go beyond endorsing this new thrust, but actively driving its implementation and progression of service delivery on the ground and we are committed to that process,” he emphasised.
Commissioner Lewin further added that in order for community policing to work, it is critical to improve the relationship between the police and the community.
“We all agree and accept that community policing is not a matter to be left to the police alone, partners at the community level and international organisations are important to this initiative. As we roll out the implementation of the strategic review to transform the JCF, it is vitally important that all the other areas work towards transforming communities. We transform communities and the Force and then we start to work on the relationship between the police and communities,” Commissioner Lewin pointed out.
He also announced that since January of this year, the JCF has been training police personnel and other stakeholders, in order to improve service delivery as it relates to community policing.
“In progressing the service delivery of community-based policing, another 200 police officers have been trained this March and seminars and training of senior officers have been held. We have also extended training to other stakeholders namely, National Housing Trust (NHT), SDC, and Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF),” he noted.
Over 10 years ago, the JCF espoused Community-Based Policing (CBP), to be an institutional philosophy and a policy of policing style. As such officers have been trained and sensitised accordingly, and pilots implemented in various communities, such as Grant’s Pen in St. Andrew, with varying levels of success. In January 2008, to refocus the progression of CBP service delivery, a framework was developed to guide the systematic roll-out of the service. The Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, announced CBP as a strategic priority for his tenure.