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Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has welcomed the increased support from the United Kingston (UK) Government to the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).

British State Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Jeremy Browne said on Saturday (Jan. 22), that the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) will be allocating approximately $100 million (£750,000) to the programme, which has the aim of reducing crime in the most volatile communities across Jamaica.

He made the announcement during a meeting at the Denham Town Community Centre with residents of western Kingston, who have benefitted from CSJP programmes. The meeting followed a tour of the Tivoli Gardens community.

Minister Nelson said that the allocation will assist the CSJP to expand its services to more at-risk communities island-wide.

The CSJP is a multi-faceted crime and violence prevention initiative of the Ministry of National Security, which focuses on building community safety and security. The programme provides crime and violence prevention services to vulnerable and volatile communities, strengthens crime management capabilities, and conducts institutional strengthening of the Ministry of National Security.

Minister Browne said it is “essential that communities, which have been affected by violence and insecurity, have access to basic services and economic opportunities.  We believe that the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, which we are delighted to support, will make an important contribution to this essential task.”

The money will allow the CSJP to expand its programmes to 39 volatile and vulnerable communities in eight parishes island-wide. Under the programme, the CSJP will aim to improve the delivery of basic government services to these communities, and will also support improved access to economic and employment opportunities within these communities.

Minister Browne said the programme will aim to achieve four objectives within the next six months.          These are: vocational training for 1,300 young people with job placements for at least 120 of them; counselling and training in life skills and parenting for more than 4,000 people; training for at least 60 community action committee members to help them secure the public services needed in their communities; and refurbishing of five community centres.

During the meeting in Denham Town, residents from Matthews Lane, Brown’s Town, Parade Gardens, Fletcher’s Land, Tivoli Gardens, Hannah Town, Denham Town, and Trench Town spoke glowingly about the work of the CSJP and the invaluable assistance it has provided in improving their lives and empowering them to become better citizens.