JIS News

The government will be placing increased focus on intelligence as part of its crime fighting strategy and over the next few months, will be making significant investments in applying the most up-to-date technologies to the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) intelligence-gathering arsenal.
Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, made the disclosure while addressing a press conference at his Oxford Road offices in Kingston recently.
He noted that, “high quality intelligence is essential to effective law enforcement” and credited the 25 percent reduction in murder and shootings since the start of the year, to the increased use of information gathering techniques. For the future, he said, “we [the Ministry] need to deepen the lessons learned”.
Turning to equipment recently acquired as part of the crime fighting effort, Dr. Phillips informed that the Ministry was in the final stages of completing the implementation of the Automated Palm and Finger Print Identification System (AFIS), which he said, was already operational.
“Training in the use of the equipment is continuing to ensure that we reap the full benefits of the system and over 236,000 sets of prints have been digitized and have been uploaded into the system,” Dr. Phillips said.
Additionally, he informed that close to some 4,000 latent prints recovered from crime scenes have been uploaded into the machine.
According to the Minister, the AFIS would not only be used in the fight against crime but would also be used to screen persons employed in security sensitive fields.
“Once the full implementation of the system is done, we think that this will significantly enhance the investigative capacity of the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” he noted.
Commenting on the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS), the Security Minister pointed out that persons have already undergone training in the use of the technology and a database was being developed.
Even as technology is being enhanced in the fight against crime, the Minister indicated that the capabilities of the Forensic Lab have been audited and the facility would be upgraded overtime.
Additionally, upgrading work is being done on the radio system for the JCF as well as to the 119 switchboards. It is expected that the work will be completed by early 2007 in time for Cricket World Cup.The overhaul will also have an impact on the training curriculum of the JCF and the Twickenham Park facility.
“Twickenham Park is to be expanded and better equipped to facilitate new approaches to training. As an initial step a tactical training village replicating real life communities is being built with international assistance to facilitate the more effective use of firearm training,” Dr. Phillips stated.