An anti-gang strategy is being developed by the Ministry of National Security to deal with criminal gangs in Jamaica, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Major Richard Reese.
He was speaking at the graduation ceremony of the Introduction to Financial Investigation and Junior Command Narcotics Investigation courses, today (March 20) at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC), Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
Major Reese said that the initiative will not only cover law enforcement, but also critical areas necessary to respond to the problems created by the criminal gangs.
“This strategy is expected to take a fulsome, sustained, coordinated approach to confronting the gang problem in Jamaica,” he said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Major Richard Reese (left) greets Vinnette Graham-Allen (right), Director Principal, Justice Training Institute, at the graduation ceremony held Friday March 20 at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre in Twickenham Park, St Catherine. 49 participants attended the introduction to financial investigation and junior command narcotic investigation courses at the Centre.
Major Reese noted that the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) must be urgently implemented, to ensure that persons who profit from a life of crime do not enjoy the financial benefits.
He said that the JCF has improved its investigative capacity, through the use of increased intelligence and technology. The merging of all intelligence agencies of the JCF into the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) has also enhanced the fight against organised crime, and the E-Tracing System, which forms part of the Bureau, was recently used to track the origins of illegal firearms seized in Jamaica, he stated.
“This has led to the arrest of Jamaicans overseas who are shipping illegal firearms to the island,” Major Reese said.
Despite the successes, Major Reese pointed out, there was still need to train law enforcement officials and to collaborate with regional and international organizations. He said that, over the past week, the JCF has received significant assistance from the United Kingdom government.
“The test will be our ability to implement as fast as the work plan requires,” Major Reese commented.
Forty nine persons from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Customs Department, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and financial investigation units across the English-speaking Caribbean attended the courses. They were trained in the areas of narcotics investigations, intelligence gathering and analysis, precursor chemicals, kidnapping and extortion, money laundering, financial fraud and assets tracing.
Since its inception, 12 years ago, REDTRAC has trained 6,519 law enforcement officers from the Caribbean.