A sum of $2.7 million has been handed over to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) by Carreras Limited, to assist in repairing damaged police vehicles.
At a press briefing today (February 21), to provide details of the donation, Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington expressed appreciation to Carreras Limited for its donation.
“At the time we made this appeal for assistance, we had in the region of 430 vehicles in the garage requiring repairs or servicing, so that they could get back on the road. We have repaired, replenished and turned out a total of 86 vehicles in three weeks, because of the support we are getting,” Mr. Ellington said at his office on Old Hope Road.
On the crime scene, the Commissioner noted that so far this year, there has been a significant reduction in criminal activities, particularly violent crimes, such as murders.
“We are conscious that we are taking advantage of a momentum which may become spent in the middle of this year. So, in order to sustain the anti crime strategies that we are pursuing, we will have to move into another phase of strategy, which is prevention and deterrence,” Mr. Ellington said.
“Critical to prevention and deterrence is force mobility. We have to be able to deploy our resources out there in the communities where they are required to prevent crime, to reassure good citizens and to deter offenders. With the fleet that we have, we are severely challenged. Even if we were able to get all the vehicles up and running, we would still be short of what is required to really drive this strategy forward and to deliver to Jamaica the kind of security and deterrence which it needs,” the Commissioner added.
In his remarks, Managing Director, Carreras Limited, Richard Pandohie said that Carreras supports the drive of the Police force to “break the back of crime” in the country.
“We applaud the Security Forces for their efforts in 2010, which saw a decline in homicide rate. We applaud that for the first time, in a long time, there is a net addition of police officers to the JCF. We applaud the Commissioner of Police and hierarchy for setting and communicating tangible performance measures,” Mr. Pandohie said.
He said that Carreras Limited was committed to playing its part in supporting the development and progress of Jamaica.
Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Vivian Brown emphasised that the issue of police mobility continues to command rapt attention, “being one the most critical areas in law enforcement.”
“In this regard, the importance of mobility to enhance the efficiency of law enforcement activities, in an atmosphere that is to a large degree characterised by highly sophisticated criminal elements, cannot be over emphasised,” Mr. Brown said.
He said the National Security Ministry was appreciative of the kind gesture of Carreras Limited, and urged other corporate citizens to come on board.
“The ultimate aim is to have a well oiled fleet of vehicles that will be able to respond to emergencies or exigencies. This is in keeping with the programmes of this government, which has spent millions of dollars to acquire new vehicles and other tools to ensure that our police men and women are well equipped to take on the challenging task of law enforcement,” Mr. Brown said.
He urged members of the JCF to handle the repaired vehicles “with due care,” as they seek to carry out their jobs.
CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON