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JIS News

Jamaicans in the United Kingdom (UK) were recently updated on various measures being undertaken by Government to tackle crime, including plans to increase significantly, the number of police personnel on the streets.
Minister of National Security, Derrick Smith, speaking with Jamaican community leaders at a round table meeting held at the High Commission in London recently, said that the Government was committed to increasing the number of police personnel to 12,000 within five years and was also looking at expanding training facilities.
There are also plans to refurbish police stations, improve the force’s mobility and forensic capabilities, and increase the use of technology. Minister Smith said that security will take up an increased share of the capital budget over the next five years and there are ongoing discussions with international partners including the United States, the UK, Canada, Germany, China and Japan, to offer assistance. The Government, he said, would also be tackling corruption and excessive use of force by the police, to boost the confidence of citizens in the police and increase cooperation. Minister Smith informed that the Government will also be tackling some of the root causes of crime including poor education and unemployment, while some $700 million will be invested in sustainable social intervention programmes.
In the meantime, the National Security Minister said that the Government has made progress 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 has also received additional boats and has stepped up surveillance to cut off the flow of ganja from Jamaica and guns from Haiti into the island. In addition, Minister Smith said, there has been a huge decline in the transhipment of cocaine through Jamaica to North America and Europe.