The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has undertaken a review of its domestic violence intervention policy and protocols.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a statement to the House of Representatives on April 20.
He said more than 300 supervisors and managers have had domestic violence intervention training since 2020, with 168 [receiving training] in the last three months as they go through their development courses.
“This is in addition to the mandatory domestic violence module in place for all police recruits in basic training at the National Police College,” Mr. Holness said.
He also informed that a national coordination unit has been established within the Community Safety Branch that will capture data, ensure standardisation and interface with external partners.
“We are strengthening the existing processes and procedures for dealing with domestic violence and have instituted additional reporting and accountability measures,” Mr. Holness said.
“Each station commander is required to pay particular attention to domestic violence cases within their policing area and report daily to the domestic violence intervention liaison officer within the division, so that these reports can be appropriately monitored,” he added.
The Prime Minister told the House that six new domestic violence intervention centres will be opened this year in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Four facilities are already in place at designated police stations where professional volunteers provide counselling to persons involved in domestic conflict.
The four existing centres at the Constant Spring, Matildas Corner, Morant Bay and the Yallahs Police stations saw more than 1500 referrals in 2020, Mr. Holness informed.
“While increasing access to domestic violence intervention centres and facilitators is important, it is critical for every police station to be a safe and welcoming space. We have a duty of care to provide protection to those seeking our help. We must respond appropriately to all reports of domestic violence, remain professional and refrain from making any judgmental utterances,” Mr. Holness said.