Minister Bunting Reports Double Digit Drop in Major Crimes

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting (left), greets Chairman of the Negril Resort Board, Cliff Reynolds, during the official opening of the newly refurbished Negril Police Station in Westmoreland yesterday (February 2). The project was funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund at a cost of $50 million.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, is reporting a significant drop in crime since the start of the year, with double digit reductions in all categories.
  • He was speaking on Tuesday, February 2, at the official opening of the newly refurbished Negril Police Station in Westmoreland.
  • The Minister credited the improvement to crime-fighting strategies being employed, which include increased focus on community policing.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, is reporting a significant drop in crime since the start of the year, with double digit reductions in all categories.

“This year we have started out very encouragingly.  For January, murders were down by 31 per cent; shootings down 25 per cent; rape down 45 per cent; aggravated assault down 40 per cent;  and the acquisitory crimes such as, robbery, break-ins and larceny, are collectively down 44 per cent,” Minister Bunting informed.

He was speaking on Tuesday, February 2, at the official opening of the newly refurbished Negril Police Station in Westmoreland.

The Minister credited the improvement to crime-fighting strategies being employed, which include increased focus on community policing.

He said the measures have seen a clear, downward trend in all categories of serious and violent crimes in the country.

Mr. Bunting noted that the police have made “visible breakthroughs” in terms of mending the relationship between themselves and the communities.

“We have also removed a lot of the sources of friction between the police and the citizenry … by amending the Dangerous Drugs Act, so that possession of small quantities of ganja is not a criminal offence any longer. Some 14,000 fewer young men are arrested every year and given a criminal record as a result of that,” the National Security Minister pointed out.

He noted that all those measures are transforming the nature of policing and building a foundation of trust between the police and citizens.

“I believe that if we continue to deepen the relationship and the partnership …between police and citizens, we form a broad coalition of well-thinking citizens and groups, ultimately, this is how we guarantee the safety and security of our citizens across Jamaica,” he contended.

The newly refurbished Negril Police Station boasts a renovated roof, new lecture theatre, new perimeter wall, new barracks to accommodate some 70 police personnel, retrofitted administrative building, new holding area and identification room, among other facilities.

The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) provided $50 million to undertake the project.

Minister Bunting thanked the Tourism Ministry. “I am confident that we will continue to see improvement and progress in the levels of policing and the level of safety and security that the citizens of the wider Negril police area will enjoy, as we continue to increase both the human resources and the infrastructure overtime,” Minister Bunting said.

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