National Crime Committee Making Strides


The National Consultative Committee on Crime and Violence is making significant strides as it works with community groups and put programmes in place to break the stranglehold of crime and violence.
The committee, which was created by the Ministry of National Security in 2001 to study the root causes of crime and make recommendations to solve the problem, has overseen the implementation of several initiatives, including most recently, the Safe Schools and Parish Crime Prevention Programmes.
Lt. Col. Oral Khan, Senior Director of Strategic Planning, Policy Research and Evaluation at the Ministry, told JIS News that the Parish Crime Prevention Programme, which started last year, has seen government agencies and civil groups coming together in a series of consultations on crime prevention in parishes such as St. Catherine, Clarendon, and St. James.
The resulting recommendations and reports from the committee, has led to social intervention programmes geared at reducing gangs in places such as Mountain View and Grants Pen in Kingston. These interventions include skills training, beautification projects and training in anger management to discourage youth from joining gangs.
Lt. Col. Khan told JIS News, that a key aspect of the social intervention programme was community policing and the committee hoped that this component would go a far way in reducing crime.
He informed that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JDF) recruits were now being trained in community policing as part of the holistic effort to improve relations between the police and citizens, while significant work was being done to improve the professional conduct of the police.
In addition, he told JIS News that the committee was paying close attention to national programmes and legislation that have been passed and implemented to curb the crime problem.
“The committee is monitoring programmes such as Kingfish, and legislation such as the recent Fingerprint Act to ensure recommendations are acted upon and persons are held accountable,” he indicated.
He further added, that the committee was monitoring initiatives such as the New Information Management Programme implemented by the Citizenship Passport and Immigration Office and the proposed Terrorism Act, which was before Parliament.
Lt. Col. Khan noted that the committee’s work was ongoing and it was continuously evaluating crime prevention programmes and providing recommendations and reports on reducing crime and violence in Jamaica.
The National Consultative Committee comprises representatives of the JCF; Jamaica Defence Force (JDF); Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights (IJCHR); Association of Evangelicals; Ministries of Health, Education, Justice and National Security; University of the West Indies; Northern Caribbean University; Peace Management Initiative and the Lay Magistrate’s Association.

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