Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Diane McIntosh says a major focus of the Ministry is to devise strategies that will unite law enforcement agencies, private organisations and individual citizens in a nationwide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities.
“The Ministry is of the view that the success of our initiatives hinge on the establishment of Neighbourhood Watch movements and the strengthening of those which exist, to become the nation’s premier crime prevention and community mobilisation programme,” Mrs. McIntosh said.
She was speaking at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) 23rd Annual Neighbourhood Watch Conference, held on November 13, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
“The Ministry of National Security is committed to working in partnership with the community and greatly appreciates the outstanding contribution that the many Neighbourhood Watch Groups and volunteers have made for safer communities over the past 23 years,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Superintendent in charge of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Community Safety and Security Branch, James Forbes addressing the JCF’s 23rd Annual Neighbourhood Watch Conference, on November 13, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
She noted that the Neighbourhood Watch programme was both a philosophy and an approach to working together as a community to reduce crime and enhance community safety.
“We must move forward with a renewed energy to encourage residents to join together for the purpose of improving the safety of their families and other people who live, visit and do business in their neighbourhood,” she urged.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police in charge of the Community Safety and Security Branch, James Forbes assured that work is being done to re-energise the Neighbourhood Watch programme.
“We have established an office at our Headquarters in Kingston for the Neighbourhood Watch movement and we are working assiduously with the Neighbourhood Watch Secretariat and their Council to make sure that we re-energise the programme,” Mr. Forbes said.
He informed that plans are afoot to roll out a volunteer programme that would seek to get law abiding citizens to work together for security.
“We are going to invite you to walk in neighbourhoods, we are going to invite you to work in schools, in public parks, at the stations; wherever people congregate, as part of one movement to protect the community,” Mr. Forbes said.
Other plans, he said, should also see the rolling out of a mentorship programme, which will seek to target those students in schools who seem to be going in the “wrong direction.”
“We will be seeking your help again as volunteers to mentor some of our young people who are misguided. So, listen out for that call because this programme will be coming out shortly,” he noted.
Mr. Forbes appealed to citizens to engage the young people and their youth club movement in their Neighbourhood Watch programmes.
The conference was held under the theme: ‘Building Safer Communities Through Partnership’.