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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is to provide the police with additional resources to tackle the crime problem in the Westmoreland police division.

Dr. Chang made the disclosure during a visit to the community of Carawina in Petersfield, Westmoreland, on Thursday (January 6), where siblings Dervin Jones and Sheldon Jones lost their lives at the hands of gunmen on Tuesday (January 4).

Following his interactions with the family and members of the community, the Minister told journalists that already some 40-plus officers have been added to the division.

“[Also], there are other officers here added for the operational purposes, so I am aware that the Commissioner [of Police] and his team are keeping their thumbs on the pulse of criminal activities in Westmoreland,” Dr. Chang outlined.

“From the Government’s point of view, we are looking at how we can ensure we provide the resources that will be devoted to providing the tools for policing… transportation, reliable communication, proper uniforms, basic body vests,” he added.

Dr. Chang further noted that the Government will also be constructing and upgrading several police stations in the division. He said this includes the police stations in Savanna-la-Mar, Little London and Frome as well as a divisional headquarters.

“We will be focusing on Westmoreland during the course of this year,” Dr. Change stated.

“We empathise with the family that lost two brothers under very brutal circumstances. Two young Jamaicans who were honest and hard-working. It’s a very traumatic event for the family, and so I decided to visit to demonstrate our concern, and give some moral support,” he added.

Commanding Officer of the Westmoreland Police Division Senior Superintendent Robert Gordon, welcomed the incoming resources to the division, noting that the crime-fighting tools will be critical to the increased police personnel to help fight crime.

“It would be extremely vital because a part of what we do is really manpower-driven. It’s not just machine. Yes, technology is critical and aids what we do, but the bulk of what we do is manpower-driven. So, any additional resources, whether it is human or mechanical, it will give a boost to what we do,” SSP Gordon explained.

He said five persons of interest have been taken into custody in connection with the killing of the brothers.

“Investigations continue and we are working through the interventions with our respective stakeholders because it’s not just a policing matter. Crime in and of itself has its roots in social issues and it requires a multifaceted approach,” SSP Gordon pointed out.

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