Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, has welcomed plans by the government to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Crime Prevention and Community Safety.
Speaking at a media briefing on National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting’s first 100 days in office, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Wednesday (April 18), Mr. Ellington described the announcement as “long awaited” and would facilitate collaboration among all the relevant agencies in order to enable the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to engage in effective community-based policing.
During the briefing, Mr. Bunting advised that the committee was being established to, among other things, coordinate various community regeneration and employment creation programmes being developed to support the build component of the anti-gang strategy.
Mr. Ellington endorsed the strategy’s build phase, in light of what he described as a “lack of resilience” displayed by some communities consequent on law enforcement efforts in dismantling gangs.
This, he argued, would enable these areas to “function as healthy communities, where the families function, where there is commercial activity, where we assist the communities in building back leadership structures that can interface with a police force that delivers (effective) community-based policing”.
According to the Commissioner, Jamaica’s community-based policing strategy ranks among the best in the world, with more than 90 per cent of the JCF trained so far and “we are on target to train the entire Jamaica Constabulary Force, soon”.
The Commissioner pointed out that much of what is being done locally is being targeted for replication by some of the bi-lateral partners in other countries where they are assisting with citizen security.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter