JIS News

The community animation programme, within the Community Security Initiative (CSI) at the Ministry of National Security, was officially launched today (April 1) at the Hotel Four Seasons, Kingston.
The programme is a special anti-crime public education project, which seeks to engage communities in the fight against crime and violence, and in reducing fear.
The programme incorporates the use of an animator, who will go out into the communities and stimulate dialogue with other community members, in looking on issues which will enhance personal security and taking responsibility for their actions.
In an interview with JIS News, Policy Manager, Social Intervention Coordination and Public Order Crime Prevention and Community Safety Branch at the Ministry, Sherrian Gray, explained that the programme focuses on issues of community security and accountability, to enhance security at the community level by creating a culture of zero tolerance and increased reporting of crimes.
“One of the main problems that we have found, is that citizens do not engage with security forces. They feel that they are not empowered. We have decided that we want to get persons engaged in basically running (their) country, because you have left it up to other persons to do. So it is basically to get a groundswell of persons and get them to move forward,” she added.
She noted that this will assist with community policing, as it will get persons engaged.
Ms. Gray informed that the programme aims to train 200 animators in pre-selected communities, for the social intervention programmes. Each community will receive a total of 50 animators.
She said that the animators will be given the mandate to select their own manual and how they are going to operate within communities. Training for the animators will be over a six-week period and will commence on April 19, at a venue to be announced.
Ms. Gray noted that they will be trained to go out and have discussions at the community level.
“It is a way of trying to enhance that sense of community that we always had. We are asking persons to start looking out for each other again,” she said.
Referring to the selection programme for the animators, Ms. Gray said that the selection is left up to the communities. The requirements for selection are: a community member with leadership qualities, between the ages of 18 to 45, literate, who has his/her own initiative and a sense of etiquette, value and honesty.
The communities that will be involved in the initiative are: Mountain View, Jones Town, Hannah Town, Matthews Lane, March Pen Road, August Town, “Russia” in Westmoreland, Farm, Effortville and Caanan Heights in Clarendon.
This programme is part of the wider campaign called ‘Together We Can Stop It’.
The ‘Together We Can Stop It’ campaign has three objectives: to foster a partnership between citizens and law enforcement officers in the fight against crime; to encourage citizens to take preventive actions to guard against the abduction and rape of women and children; and to motivate citizens to pass on to law enforcement officers vital information on murder, abduction, rape, abuse and any other major crimes.

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