Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says that over the last two years, the homicide curve across the island has been flattening.
“Following the peak in 2017, and the 22 per cent drop in 2018, we are seeing a stabilisation in the rate of homicides and marked reduction in other crimes. To borrow the term from the epidemiologists, the ‘curve is flattening’,” Dr. Chang said.
“This is the result of the structured and strategic security measures that have been put in place. We are confident that as we complete the work of transforming the JCF, we will further reduce the homicide rate, and take homicides to a level that is considered acceptable for a democratic society,” he added.
The Minister was making a statement in the House of Representatives on June 16, on the recent murder of Detective Corporal Dane Biggs and Constable Decardo Hylton in Horizon Park, St. Catherine.
Dr. Chang said the Government is committed to this work and will continue to provide the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with all the necessary support to do so.
He noted that Friday’s (June 12) attack on the police is a reminder that in addition to political will, what “we need is a groundswell of national support for the work of the security forces”.
“There will be no real change until there is a collective condemnation and rejection of criminality. The police, on their own, number 12,000; but if we all join the Force for good, then the Constabulary would number over two million,” the Minister argued.
He emphasised that every Jamaican has a responsibility to stand against crime, violence and corruption.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chang said over the last four years, the Government has consistently prioritised national security as an area for budgetary and policy support, adding that over this period, significant investment has been made in increasing the capacity of the JCF.
“Under the leadership of Commissioner Antony Anderson, the JCF is undergoing the most aggressive modernisation, restructuring and reform in the history of the JCF,” the Minister noted.
“There has been significant upgrading and increasing of their mobility, technology, communications, surveillance, training and well-being, ballistics, forensics, and manpower. These were not just cosmetic upgrades. These were necessary improvements to critical areas of our security infrastructure. The cumulative effect of these improvements will result in even greater efficiency in our policing,” he added.
Dr. Chang said that the entire security apparatus is at one in its recommendation that States of Public Emergency continue to be utilised in the suite of security measures taken to drive down criminality.
He noted that in high-violence-producing communities, “we have seen their successful implementation, resulting in the reduction of murders and shootings, even while preserving the rights of our citizens”.