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  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be seeking to strengthen its youth club network and revamp dormant neighbourhood watches next year.
  • Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Karina Powell-Hood, who is attached to the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), said these groups are critical partners in the fight against crime.
  • Meanwhile, SSP Powell-Hood is crediting the double-digit fall in crime this year to effective policing, citizen support, and partnerships forged with the public and private sector over the years.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be seeking to strengthen its youth club network and revamp dormant neighbourhood watches next year.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Karina Powell-Hood, who is attached to the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), said these groups are critical partners in the fight against crime.

“We actively pursue youth clubs because we recognise that this is one of our most vulnerable categories and we try as best as possible to engage them and harness their talents,” she said, noting that the youngsters will be encouraged to offer services in their communities that will enhance safety and security.

“Our plans for 2015 is to focus more on developing their social entrepreneurship and encourage them to manage their own businesses, with a view to adding value to their community,” SSP Powell-Hood informed at a recent JIS Think Tank.

She noted that the CSSB has improved its youth club network through the support provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (Comet II).

In 2014, four new clubs were established adding to a total of 480 groups in operation islandwide.

“Last year, we had a very successful youth camp at Bog Walk High School with over 200 participants, who were exposed to areas of social entrepreneurship and the culture of lawfulness,” she informed, adding that the intent is to build the leadership capacity of the youngsters who will, in turn, add value to their communities.

As it relates to the neighbourhood watch programme, SSP Powell-Hood, said the intent is to revamp dormant groups in 2015.

“We have on record some 700 watches, of which several have gone dormant, and it is our intention to revamp those watches for 2015, because they are very critical and are a key partner to ensuring community safety and security,” SSP Powell-Hood said.

She noted that a conference was held in November, which saw over 500 neighbourhood watchers from across the island participating.

Meanwhile, SSP Powell-Hood is crediting the double-digit fall in crime this year to effective policing, citizen support, and partnerships forged with the public and private sector over the years.

“We are now seeing double digit reductions and we hope that by the end of the year, we can see it decline even more. We value the partnerships that we share with our citizens and the support from corporate entities and others that assist us,” she said.

Among the partners in the crime fight are the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the UASID, the Department for International Development (DFID), and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).

The CSSB was formed in 2008 to foster partnerships in communities with a focus on crime prevention.

There are CSSB officers in all 19 geographic divisions of the JCF, separate from the CSSB headquarters in Kingston.

 

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