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The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be boosting its Witness Support Unit with the addition of an officer from the rank of superintendent. Police Commissioner, Lucius Thomas, who made the announcement at a press conference held recently at the Police Officers’ Club in Kingston, informed that “this superintendent will be a designated Witness Management Officer, who will work closely with the Ministry’s Witness Protection Programme”.
The unit, he said, would give professional advice and support to police officers on how to deal with victims of crimes and vulnerable witnesses.
He noted that despite the success of the Ministry of National Security’s Witness Protection Scheme, much more had to be done to provide investigating officers with support to manage victims and witnesses.
He encouraged victims and witnesses to report all incidences of crime and violence to the police. “We need information; we need our witnesses to come forward. I know it is difficult, but we need witnesses to come forward and give evidence. The JCF makes a solemn promise to do everything within its power to protect these witnesses and to make life as easy as possible for them,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner urged government and non-government organisations to create meaningful social and educational programmes to divert young people from criminal activities.
“The demands of our modern age require that the police act in partnership with other public, private and voluntary organizations to deliver services that will address crime, fear of crime and other safety issues, which concerns communities,” he stated.