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Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, inspects a new batch of Jamaica Constabulary Force recruits during a passing out parade and awards ceremony for 169 new constables, at the National Police College of Jamaica in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
Photo: File Photo

Story Highlights

  • Measures implemented by the Government led to a major decline in murders and other major crimes last year.
  • Reduction in Major Crimes • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reported a reduction in serious and violent crimes between January 1 and December 29, compared to the corresponding period in 2017. • Murders declined by 21.7 per cent; shootings, 22.2 per cent; rape, 12.3 per cent; and aggravated assault 12.1 per cent. • Robberies declined by 15.1 per cent relative to the corresponding period in 2017; break-ins were down 4.3 per cent • The incidence of praedial larceny declined by 30.3 per cent in 2017, while motor vehicle theft also dropped by 27.9 per cent.
  • Using Technology to Fight Crime • JamaicaEye, a national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance initiative aimed at improving public safety and disaster response, was launched. • More than 400 CCTVs were installed by the Government at strategic locations islandwide, and more than 200 private partners joined the network. • 550 cameras were procured for installation in high-priority areas. • The programme is targeting the installation of 1,000 cameras by 2019. • US$45,000 was provided to procure technology to aid in the recovery of stolen cellular phones, while a database was established to facilitate the registration of phones.

Measures implemented by the Government led to a major decline in murders and other major crimes last year.

Reduction in Major Crimes
• The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reported a reduction in serious and violent crimes between January 1 and December 29, compared to the corresponding period in 2017.
• Murders declined by 21.7 per cent; shootings, 22.2 per cent; rape, 12.3 per cent; and aggravated assault 12.1 per cent.
• Robberies declined by 15.1 per cent relative to the corresponding period in 2017; break-ins were down 4.3 per cent
• The incidence of praedial larceny declined by 30.3 per cent in 2017, while motor vehicle theft also dropped by 27.9 per cent.

Using Technology to Fight Crime
• JamaicaEye, a national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance initiative aimed at improving public safety and disaster response, was launched.
• More than 400 CCTVs were installed by the Government at strategic locations islandwide, and more than 200 private partners joined the network.
• 550 cameras were procured for installation in high-priority areas.
• The programme is targeting the installation of 1,000 cameras by 2019.
• US$45,000 was provided to procure technology to aid in the recovery of stolen cellular phones, while a database was established to facilitate the registration of phones.
• The JCF acquired three additional drones, bringing the total to eight for operational deployment.
• Closed-circuit cameras were installed at major lock-ups – Hunts Bay, Half-Way Tree, Morant Bay, Mandeville, May Pen, Spanish Town, Montego Bay, Barnett Street, Ocho Rios and Constant Spring.

Corporal Ricardo Mitchell of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Accident, Investigation and Reconstruction Unit, shows students a “True Angle” device used in investigating the scene of an accident, during the JCF Career Exposition and Youth Forum.

 

Acquisition of Vehicles
• Over 42 motorcycles and 19 motor cars, valued $104 million, were presented to JCF. The motorcycles, valued $44 million, were assigned to the Traffic Division while the 19 motor cars, which cost approximately $60 million, were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB).
• The St. Thomas Police Division received six motor vehicles.
• The Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) received two new motor vehicles.

Upgrading of Facilities
• A new multimillion-dollar administrative building was opened on the grounds of the Office of the Police Commissioner. It houses the Heads of Department for Administration, Operations and Strategic Operations, among other senior officers; and the Criminal Investigation Branch headquarters
• Ground was broken to build a new police station in Port Maria, St. Mary, at a cost of $60 million.
• Work was advanced on the construction of a new police station in Buff Bay, Portland, at a cost of $50 million. The 4,000-square-foot facility is slated for completion in November 2019.
• A police post was opened in Green Acres, St. Catherine.
• New dormitories were opened at Harman Barracks, St. Andrew.
• Minor repairs were carried out at 74 police stations across the island through the JCF #150 station fix-up initiative.
• Renovations were undertaken at the Mobile Reserve to improve services for deported persons.

Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch
A new branch of the JCF, comprised of 700 members, was launched. PSTEB is a merger of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Division and the Motorised Patrol Division. It is responsible for public safety in town centres and major roadways.
• The PSTEB includes a roving motorcycle team to allow for rapid response in sufficient numbers. Teams concentrate primarily on breaches of public order that threaten public safety, such as vending outside of designated areas. Members also focus on safety along major thoroughfares.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, inspects some of the motorbikes acquired for officers of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

 

Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch (C-TOC)
• Counterfeit goods valued over $1.2 billion were destroyed by C-TOC.
• C-TOC rolled out a campaign to sensitise the public about the dangers of counterfeit items.

Training
• 5,385 personnel were trained in human rights and use of force and 1,846 trained in less lethal techniques.
• Members of the JCF who benefited from domestic violence training are to become ambassadors in ending the scourge in the society. The JCF aims to have at least one person in each police station across the island, operating as a point person to interrupt domestic violence incidents at the community level.
• 610 persons were trained at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC), in keeping with its mandate to provide training for law enforcement, border control, drug control and financial control personnel across the Caribbean.

New Commissioner Installed/Human Capacity Boosted
• Jamaica’s 30th Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, was installed.
• 857 new constables were deployed across JCF divisions.

Canine Division
• More highly trained dogs were acquired, increasing the complement to 61.
• Refurbishing and expansion of dog kennels increased the number from 70 to
105.

Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III
• 2,143 students were engaged in the School Suspension Programme for disruptive behaviours.
• 143 rap sessions were held with 5,862 parents, school resource officers and
Students, among others.
• 18 parenting workshops were conducted with 627 parents.
• 34 mediation sessions were held benefiting 95 persons.
• 374 youth were engaged in summer camps.
• 224 residents from Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Ann, Clarendon, St. Catherine and St. James benefited from 115 mediation sessions between May to August 2018. Of the 115 mediated cases, 111 were referred by the courts, two by the police and two were walk-ins. Sixty-three or 55 per cent were criminal cases, 34 or 30 per cent were family cases; and 17 or 15 per cent were civil cases.
• 754 youth were engaged in skills training in areas such as general construction, welding, food preparation, electrical engineering, and allied health.
• The Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) and CSJP III formed a partnership to implement a community mediation project that will provide free sessions to persons in conflict.
• Community profiles and safety plans were developed for 26 communities.

Safety and Security in Schools Unit
• 500 metal detectors were procured for the 2018/19 school year, up from the 130 in 2017/18.
• 30 walk-through scanners have also been secured for the 2018/19 school year, up from five in 2017/18.

Sergeant Daniel Bennett (left) of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) interacts with students from the Donald Quarrie High School during the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Career Exposition and Youth Forum at The Mico University College in Kingston.

 

Inmate Rehabilitation
The Government earmarked $168 million in the 2018/19 Budget to undertake construction and renovation works at several correctional facilities as well as to acquire vehicles.
• Eight desktop computers were provided to the all-female Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre in St. Catherine to assist inmates preparing for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
• The reintegration curriculum was relaunched and renovated classrooms opened at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, under the ‘A New Path’ initiative.
• A partnership was established with HEART Trust/NTA to train and certify inmates and wards in several vocational areas.
• 67 correctional officers, representing the first batch of recruits to undergo polygraph testing, were commissioned.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (centre), and Superintendent in charge of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, A.D. Brown (left), examine apparel made by inmates at the institution during a tour of the facility. Looking on is Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter.

 

Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA)
• Cabinet approved US$1.2 million to establish the online passport application facility.
• Architectural designs for the new PICA head office were completed and submitted to the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation for approval to facilitate the project’s commencement.
• PICA received a $9.8-million bus from the Ministry to enhance community outreach.

• The Electronic C5 Immigration and Customs Form, which provides travellers with a flexible, easy and efficient option for completing immigration and customs information, became operational.
• A system to speed up the passport application process was installed in the New York and Miami Missions.
• Additional automated immigration kiosks were installed at the country’s two international airports.

Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA)
• The FLA discontinued granting permits to individuals to import their own firearms, and directed applicants to consult exclusively with a licensed firearm dealer for purchases.
• A system was developed that will be used by all dealers for ammunition sales.
• The FLA implemented a fingerprinting mechanism for its renewal process called the Morpho RapID System, which is directly connected to the Criminal Records Office database. The machine is able to detect whether a person has been charged or convicted within seconds of receiving the applicant’s fingerprints.
• The FLA successfully upgraded its two BRASS TRAX Machines to HD 3D technology, which enables faster uploading of the ballistic signatures to the FLA system shared with the Forensics Lab.
• The Authority, with the assistance of the Institute of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine, successfully cleared its backlog of outstanding ballistics signatures.
• The FLA changed the means of communication with applicants and licensed firearm holders, with applicants receiving automated emails when a decision has been made on their file.

Traffic Ticket Amnesty
• More than $256 million was collected from the second Traffic Ticket Amnesty.