Residents of the adjoining districts of Comfort Hall and Scarlett Hall near Falmouth in Trelawny, have joined together to establish a neighbourhood watch group, sending a clear message of zero tolerance against crime and all criminal activities in the area.
The Comfort Hall/Scarlett Hall Community Development Association and Neighbourhood Watch was officially launched on June 3 during a ceremony at the Comfort Hall Church of God, which was attended by hundreds of residents.
As the 27th community crime prevention group to be established in the parish, it has received the support and endorsement of the Ministry of National Security, Custos of Trelawny, Hon. Paul Muschett and Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Garth Wilkinson.
Director of Crime Prevention and Community Safety in the Ministry, Courtney Brown, in welcoming the launch, said the task of promoting safe communities requires a “whole society effort”.
He said the Ministry strongly supports the establishment of neighbourhood watches as they were regarded as instrumental in reducing crimes such as residential burglary and vandalism, and promoting community policing.
“When the right systems are in place, neighbourhood watches offer the opportunity to develop close liaison among local households, the police and other agencies, and create a way for neighbours to join efforts in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, and make their neighbourhoods a safer place,” he stated.
Mr. Brown commended the work of the police and neighbourhood watch groups in the parish for achieving a seven per cent reduction in murders, shootings, robberies and break-ins in Trelawny as at May 26.
He suggested that the Comfort Hall/Scarlett Hall neighbourhood watch with the police to set crime prevention and reduction goals for the communities.
“On behalf of the Ministry of National Security, I wish to express support for your efforts so far and urge you to critically examine those areas in which you need to make more progress in building better and safer communities … and make Scarlett Hall and Comfort Hall and the entire parish of Trelawny, among the places of choice for Jamaicans to live, raise families and do business,” Mr. Brown stated.
By Glenis A. Rose, JIS Reporter