JIS News

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Charge of the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), John McLean, has listed reinvigorating Neighbourhood Watch groups among the priorities being undertaken through the community policing initiative.
Speaking to JIS News at a Think Tank Session, ACP McLean said that a reinvigorated Neighbourhood Watch programme, will encourage people to do much more to help themselves and the initiative.
“The JCF is now looking at a style of policing which is more proactive and preventive, because the traditional policing is paramilitary- which is reaction and investigation. The style of policing that we are now looking forward to will be much better, because it saves money, life and time,” he said.
“So one of the many things that we will be doing is to revamp the Neighbourhood Watch system, which is now a sleeping giant,” he explained.
ACP McLean confirmed that the JCF has received financial support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and is now working, on the ground, with other organizations, to strengthen the Neighbourhood Watch system across Jamaica.
“We have just finished a series of five two- day workshops throughout Jamaica, which the Neighbourhood Watches have organized on an area basis, and we brought together Neighbourhood Watch coordinators, members and local police officers and we have worked with them, looking at things like crime prevention and problem solving,” he outlined.
He announced that Neighbourhood Watch manuals and signs will soon be reintroduced to the communities.
“We are following up with reviewing and reprinting the Neighbourhood Watch booklets, and we have got some funding to put up new signage for every Neighbourhood Watch area.so we are just at a stage now where we will agree on a new signage where, over the next three years, we can have new Neighbourhood Watch signs up,” he declared.
The Neighbourhood Watch programme unites citizens in a community to protect themselves and their property, by reducing the risk of crime. It was launched in Jamaica in 1987. Neighbourhood Watch signs are strategically placed at the entrance(s) to the communities, as public declarations by the residents that they are alert, crime-conscious and united against crime.

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