MANDEVILLE — Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), James Forbes, is crediting the police’s recent success in fighting crime, in large part, to the determination of citizens to rid their communities of criminals.
He noted that "for the first time in recent memory, the island of Jamaica is breathing in relief that the crime rate (especially) murder is going down. People are deciding that less than one per cent of people cannot be holding us at ransom any longer; that’s what’s happening."
“Citizens have decided that enough is enough and they are providing the support and the encouragement and we are seeing the results. We are not going back where we are coming from; we will never go back there,” he declared.
SSP Forbes was addressing the signing ceremony for a cooperation agreement between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and civic society organisations in the parishes of Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Clarendon, held recently at the Mandeville Baptist Church.
The Senior Police Superintendent, who is Head of the JCF’s Community Safety and Security Branch, lauded the leadership of Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, whom he said, has “led his 10,000-strong force into areas that we have not gone before. We have taken on big names that we have never taken on before."
He called for even more cooperation from communities to see further reduction in major crimes and ultimately, destroy criminal networks.
In his address, head of the Area 3 Police, which encompasses the three parishes, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Derrick Cochrane, told the gathering that the ceremony was, “a public demonstration that we, the police and you, the citizens, are resolute in our determination to work together”.
He appealed to residents not to “turn a blind eye” to sinister and criminal activities. “When you see something, you need to say something to the police. We will continue to work with all the energy in law enforcement to once again make this country peaceful and prosperous,” ACP Cochrane pledged.
The partnership between the police and the civic groups seeks to develop and implement strategies to enhance the safety and security of communities, and establish working relationships from agencies and community groups in the Area 3 parishes, and the wider Jamaica.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS