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Residents of the communities of Jacques Road, Mountain View Avenue, McGregor Gully, Jarrett Lane, ‘Top Range’ and ‘Back Bush’ are to benefit from the refurbishing of community centres, a library and basic school under a contract signed on Wednesday (October 6) at the Ministry of National Security.
The contract signing, which is part of the Community Action Rapid Impact Project, is worth $5 million, and falls under the $20 million Citizens Security and Justice Programme. The agreement was signed by Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips and Permanent Secretary, Gilbert Scott. Meanwhile, President and Vice President of the United Mountain View Development Council, Milton Tomlinson and Collie Allen represented the Mountain View communities.
Minister Phillips told the residents, community leaders and police officers, that the project represented an important element in the country’s crime fighting strategy.
“We recognize that a critical component must involve an effort to reorient behaviours of people in the communities,” he stated, adding, “while we will not flinch at all, from the need for what we might call hardcore policing efforts, and we will not compromise or restrain those efforts, we recognize that we also have to make an assault on the social conditions which breed the inclination toward violent behaviour.”
He also said that the intervention that had taken place in the communities through the work of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), had demonstrated that it was possible for that type of intervention to restrain and reverse the wave of violence in communities that were so affected.
Minister Phillips further noted that a part of the Citizens Security and Justice Programme was specifically focused on rewarding and reinforcing healthy behaviours. He said that while the programme could not yet declare a victory in the Mountain View area, it was clear that there had been considerable progress.
The Security Minister told the group that well thinking Jamaicans who wanted peace had to make an active and positive commitment in order to complement the work of the police.
Also present at the signing were head of the Peace Management Initiative, Bishop Herro Blair, and Members of Parliament representing the various sections of the community. These included Minister of Education, Youth and Culture, Maxine Henry Wilson, Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, and Opposition Member of Parliament, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett.