JIS News

The Ministry of National Security, has, through the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), achieved a number of successes since the new administration assumed office a year ago.
In January, the JCF reported that the number of “drug mules,” smuggling narcotics out of the country, have been significantly reduced, due to its heightened surveillance activities and intelligence.
Statistics from the Narcotics Division, showed that the number of drug mules arrested last year, fell by 19 per cent when compared with the figure for 2006. In 2007, some 5,496 persons were arrested for drugs, a significant reduction from the 6,793 in 2006.
Of the persons arrested, 5,257 were Jamaicans, with 4,927 being males and 330, females. Foreign males and females accounted for 174 and 65 arrests, respectively. British nationals accounted for 119, Americans – 51, and Canadians -22.
In addition, 171 persons were arrested at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and 220 persons at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay St. Jameslast year.
The Narcotics Division has a mandate to report on the eradication, interdiction, and demand reduction of drugs throughout the country.
Progress has also been made in tackling the flow of guns into the country, with three new state-of-the-art coast guard vessels acquired, and additional coast guard outposts established in St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas.
The Marine Police Division, has also received additional boats, and has stepped up surveillance to cut off the flow of marijuana from Jamaica, and guns from Haiti into the island. In addition, there has been a significant decline in the transshipment of cocaine through Jamaica to North America and Europe.
Since the implementation of the Kingston and St. Andrew Major Investigation Task Force (MIT) in 2006, a 49 per cent detection rate was reported as one of the major successes. This detection rate has improved from 34 per cent. The crime scene investigative capabilities of the MIT have also improved.
In addition, 16 Forensic Crime Scene Investigators, who have met the required international standards, were appointed. Also, digital photography is being utilised to take clearer images of crime scenes.
Another success of the MIT, is the availability and use of new forensic equipment, such as drying cabinets (for storing bloodstained clothing in a controlled environment) Additionally, four forensic hubs have been set up at Duke Street in Kingston, May Pen Clarendon, St. James, and Pompano Bay St. Mary.
The MIT was formed to investigate all murders committed with the use of firearms in the six divisions of Kingston and St. Andrew.
The Serious and Organised Crime Branch of the JCF, has also reported marked success in its operations, with a number of arrests and seizures made during the last 12 months. The Branch comprises the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), and the Flying and Fraud Squads.
The Organised Crime Investigation Division has been successful in the recovery of stolen motor vehicles, exposure of an illegal forgery operation, and resolving kidnapping cases.
The smashing of one stolen motor vehicle ring, resulted in 15 cars being recovered, and a large forgery centre, where forged documents such as drivers licences and titles were being manufactured, identified and dismantled.
In addition, more than 123 persons have been arrested and charged for various offences and large amounts of bootleg items have also been seized. Arrests, resulting from investigations into kidnapping reports in St. James, Clarendon, St. Catherine, and Kingston were also made.
The Flying Squad, which prioritises robberies and violent crimes, provides 24-hour patrols within the Corporate Area of Kingston and St. Andrew, and the urban sections of St. Catherine, and they have also been extremely successful.
The squad has undertaken over 200 specific operations in the last year alone, over and above their normal patrol and tasking operational activities, and recovered over 40 firearms, 350 rounds of ammunition, and some 85 stolen motor cars.
Twenty-five per cent of the stolen vehicle recoveries made by the Flying Squad was valued at more than $112 million, and resulted in charges being laid and prosecutions conducted.
In the meantime, on December 17, when Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin assumed office as Police Commissioner, he assured Jamaicans that he was committed to making the country safe. “My determination is to improve public safety for every citizen and to make Jamaica a place where peace and security prevails,” he asserted.
Also, on May 13, former Police Commissioner, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan, was sworn in as the new Minister of National Security.
Col. MacMillan, who was presented with the instruments of appointment as Minister and Senator, took over the portfolio from Derrick Smith who was appointed to the position in September 2007.
Senator MacMillan was Police Commissioner between 1993 and 1996, and also served in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). He was Director of the Revenue Protection Division (RPD), and served as Special Advisor to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.