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The Ministry of National Security has, during the past year, sought to, and acquired a number of pieces of equipment that are critical to efficiency and enhancing the way in which the security forces carry out their work.
To this end, in January of this year, two 43-foot Nortech Interceptor patrol boats were added to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard’s fleet of vessels, which will enhance its ability to intercept go-fast boats, which are frequently used by smugglers of illicit drugs and guns.
The boats, valued upwards of US$500,000, were donated under the United States (US) marine security assistance programme, ‘Enduring Friendship’.
The Coast Guard, had previously received eight vessels from the US under the Enduring Friendship programme. The diesel-powered interceptor boats are state of the art and are capable of reaching a top end speed of 60 miles per hour. They are fitted with state-of-the-art communication and radar technologies.
In addition, 10 members of the JDF completed training in fast-boat operations. Enduring Friendship, is a security initiative aimed at assisting partner nations to strengthen their operational capabilities, to better anticipate and respond to drug trafficking and other illicit activities, and global threats such as terrorism and natural disasters.
Meanwhile, in February, new computers valued at $350,000 were handed over to five Probation Aftercare Offices, by Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams.
The offices that benefitted from the computers are located in Falmouth Trelawny, Montego Bay (Barnett Street)St. James, Portmore, Spanish Town in St. Catherine and Region 2, which covers St. Ann, Manchester, Clarendon, and St. Catherine.
They are expected to enhance the work of the Probation Officers, by enabling them to provide timely reports to the Courts and Parole Board.
Probation Aftercare Officers, are mandated to play a role in the re-integration of inmates into the society. They also act as a liaison between these persons and their communities, while offering supervision and counselling.
In March, 10 service vehicles, equipment and a newly refurbished Trench Town Police Station in Kingston, were handed over to the Ministry. This was facilitated by the European Commission, through the Social and Economic Reform Programme (SERP III).
The vehicles will be allocated to the Safe Schools Programme, the Police Academy, and the Scene of Crime Unit.
In addition, a noted forensic scientist, Dr. Adrian Linacre, was brought on board to train crime scene officers to analyse bloodstain patterns.
The Above Rocks Police Station in St.Catherine, was also refurbished as part of the programme. Both stations were refurbished at a cost of $10 million.
In April, the British Government donated more than $32 million worth of equipment and supplies to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which will be utilised by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) and the Community Safety and Security Branch.
The donation included motor vehicles, computers, refrigerators, desks and chairs, a television set, kettles, stoves, toys, sexual evidence kits, gloves, disposable gowns, examination lights and beds, laptops, and data projectors.
CISOCA was established to ensure efficient and effective investigations into reports of sexual offences including rape, carnal abuse, indecent assault, gross indecency, assault with intent to rape and all forms of child abuse.
In addition, mobility for police personnel in Portland was enhanced, with the presentation of a new vehicle, by Member of Parliament for Western Portland, Daryl Vaz.