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Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has reiterated his call for Jamaicans to work together to tackle the dysfunctional elements in the country’s culture that continue to fuel criminality.

The Minister, who was speaking during a passing out parade and awards ceremony held on November 9 at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park,

St. Catherine, said that part of the challenge for policing in Jamaica, is the cultural mindset among some Jamaicans that giving evidence to the police is wrong.

“Those elements in the popular music that glorify criminal behaviour; those elements in our communities that say ‘informa fi dead’ (must change),” Mr. Bunting said.

“We don’t realise when we do all this, what we’re doing is creating an environment where criminal organisations feel that Jamaica is a good place to do business,” he stated.

Turning to the issue of mob violence, the Security Minister said this is another unfortunate practice that is occurring too frequently in Jamaica.

“This tendency towards mob violence must also be tackled, because that is in many ways, as bad as criminal behaviour,” he remarked. “I want to say that, that sort of savagery is not going to improve the quality of life of the Jamaican people or improve citizen security in Jamaica,” he added.

Mr. Bunting called for “a coalition of the good (and) well-thinking Jamaicans to ensure that the police get the support that they need to tackle criminals and organised crime”.

He assured that the government is also doing its part to ensure a gradual change in this cultural mindset, pointing out that in the last year, the Ministry has organised a number of media campaigns “challenging some of these dysfunctional norms that we have developed”.

A total of 202 police constables graduated during the passing out parade and awards ceremony. Five of the constables were singled out for their outstanding performances during the training period.

They are: Constable Dayne Blackwood, who received the Para-Professional Counselling Award; Constable Michael Hutchinson for Best Christian Principles; Constable Kemados Marsh, Best Leadership Qualities; Constable Shyan Evans, Highest Mark Obtained; and Constable Adrian Bailey, who got the award for being the Best Shot.  

The graduates are among some 760 recruits trained by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) this year, in addition to 300 district constables. Mr. Bunting said the number represents the highest amount of recruits in any one year and increases the JCF membership to 9,124.