JIS News

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dwight Nelson, has said that the Government is addressing the deficiency in numbers within the police force in order to have a better grip on crime fighting.
Addressing a Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Board of Directors meeting held Tuesday (Sept. 15) at the organisation’s downtown Kingston office, Minister Nelson informed that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is short by 4,000, the optimum complement of 12,000 personnel needed to effectively carry out its responsibilities.
He said while 300 police recruits are trained every year, the attrition rate is about 250 due to retirement, death and other factors. “We are netting out about 50 police men and women each year,” he pointed out.
Citing the measures being undertaken to address the deficiency in numbers, he informed that 300 District Constables have been trained and recruited to do desk work, which will free up the police personnel to undertake the job for which they were trained.
“There are a lot of police men and women, who sit around desks pushing papers and pencils and stand at gates opening and closing them.yet they were trained to fight crime, so we have recruited 300 District Constables to do that kind of work and regular police officers will be sent out on the road to fight crime,” he told the JCC board.
In addition, the Government has recently refurbished a training facility in Tranquility Bay, St. Elizabeth, at a cost of $15 million, which will provide for the training of 140 more recruits per year.
Turning to recent initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of National Security to enhance crime fighting capabilities, Minister Nelson informed that a new agreement has been signed to develop a database of fingerprints for the force.
In addition, he said, “we have improved the forensic lab to the point where it is almost the best in this side of the hemisphere…we have spent millions of US dollars recently to acquire equipment, microscopes and the kind of forensic equipment needed to allow the police to do their jobs and we have spent over $70 million for a National Identification System, so that every Jamaican will have a unique identification number”.
The National Identification System will require every Jamaican resident in Jamaica to be registered, to have a unique number assigned to him or her from the date of birth, and a number around which will be built the identification data, which will make it easier to identify criminals.

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