JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller today (May 1), emphasised the effort being made by the Government to fight crime and violence in the country.
Making her contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives today (May 1), Mrs. Simpson Miller said that during 2006 several measures were taken to deal with the issue of crime.
She said these included the upgrading of some police stations; provision of more vehicles and equipment to the security forces; and strengthening the intelligence gathering facilities.
Other measures included the implementation of a new state-of-the-art Automated Palm and Fingerprinting Identification System and an Integrated Ballistic Information System and the establishment of the National Firearms Licensing Authority.
“In terms of legislation, we passed the Proceeds of Crime Act which gives the State the power to seize the assets of criminals. We are going after criminals, whoever they are and wherever they are. A Bill to amend the Evidence Act is now before Parliament,” said Mrs. Simpson Miller.
She stressed that in order for the security forces to be effective in discharging their responsibilities, they needed the support, trust and confidence of the Jamaican citizen and communities. “The security forces must treat all our citizens with the respect and dignity they deserve. If they do not, then they cannot expect the necessary support, trust and confidence of those they serve,” the Prime Minister said.
“This is why we are putting so much emphasis on training, in particular attitudinal training; training in how to speak and interact with Jamaican citizens. I applaud the hard work of the vast majority of decent, law respecting and honourable policemen and women,” she continued.
Mrs. Simpson Miller warned the few “unscrupulous” police members who continued to “tarnish the good name of the security forces.”
“They will not be allowed to continue damaging the reputation of the security forces.putting the viability of our nation at risk. Serious efforts are being made to stamp out corruption in the police force,” she said.The Prime Minister also informed the Lower House that efforts to rid the force of corruption have been positive and there are plans to strengthen the anti corruption drive.
“Improper police behaviour has cost the country dearly, socially and economically and traumatised our families. We are determined to bring greater accountability to the police force,” said Mrs. Simpson Miller.
The Police Civilian Oversight Authority, an independent investigative body, is empowered to ensure strict adherence to ethics and professionalism, she noted. The Prime Minister also pointed out that the Commissioner of Police, “using the police service regulations, is taking action against members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who are not acting in accordance with the professional standards of the force.”

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