JIS News

Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas, has charged the Community Relations Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to work to increase the number of Neighbourhood Watch groups across the island.
Commissioner Thomas was speaking at the 18th annual National Neighbourhood Watch conference held at the Ebony Park HEART Academy in Clarendon on Saturday, November 12.
“I am charging the Community Relations Division in particular and the wider membership of the Police Force, to devise creative strategies, which will trigger positive growth in the number of Neighbourhood Watches,” he stated.
He further noted that, “serious meaningful and productive efforts need to be made to educate the entire force that being assigned to a neighbourhood watch group is not a recreational activity but a critical component, which will impact on crime prevention and reduction.” The Police Commissioner pointed out that the force was in a new mode of operation, which called for proactive instead of reactive policing. As such, he said that special attention needed to be given to crime prone areas, noting that a “soft sell” approach could be used to establish neighbourhood watches. “That is why I am urging you to develop tailor-made schemes, which will reflect the sensitivities of the respective community,” he said.
He emphasized that the neighbourhood watch movement urgently needed the intellectual input and creativity of all members of the force in order to be an effective tool in crime prevention.
The conference was attended by more than 600 delegates from various neighbourhood watches across the island, who also participated in workshops dealing with leadership, technology in crime management, human trafficking, community sustainability, and environmental awareness.