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The police are reporting that major crimes in the parish of St. Elizabeth have continued to trend downwards since the start of the year, in comparison to the similar period last year.

“Overall, there has been a reduction of 2 per cent in major crimes. We have had reduction in murders, and reduction in break-ins. This year we have 160 reported break-ins as against 207 last year this time, 47 less or a 23 per cent reduction,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, David Cochrane, said while speaking to citizens at a recent town hall meeting at the Alpart Sports Club, in St. Elizabeth.

“In terms of murders, we have an 11 per cent reduction. Where we have the challenge is in robberies, and we have reconfigured our operational initiatives to treat with that. We have detained 10 men, and have seen a marked reduction in robberies in the parish,” Mr. Cochrane added.

The senior police officer called on citizens to take great care when travelling with cash. “Be very alert in terms how you carry large sums of cash. The ideal is to use debit or credit cards. Do not enter ATMs alone in the nights when there are few people around. If you have to carry cash on you, don’t be too open with it to attract the criminals,” he warned.

Mr. Cochrane told the gathering that their presence at the meeting demonstrate that they are on the side of the law, and pointed out that successful law enforcement initiatives have only seen success when citizens partner with the police.

“Successful law enforcement effort has always been aided and buttressed by excellent police-citizen relationship, co-operation and co-ordination. Successful law enforcement rides on the back of the united focus of the police and citizens working together to prevent crime in their neighbourhoods. This is based on the premise that the law enforcement effort is not for the police alone; it is meant to be a partnership with the police and the public. If we ever need that togetherness between the police and the public, it is now more than ever,” he said.

Mr. Cochrane said crime and violence is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to progress, and while the police cannot be everywhere at the same time, the citizens can play their part in the fight against wrong doing.