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  • National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting has attributed the 40 per cent drop in police fatal shootings to efforts by the authorities.
  • He says public announcements cautioning persons with illegal guns to surrender when accosted by the police, have also contributed to the reduction.
  • He said the Force must be seen by the society as committed to serving, protecting and reassuring, while maintaining a high level of professionalism.

National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting has attributed the 40 per cent drop in police fatal shootings to efforts by the authorities to regularly reiterate to Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) personnel, the importance of adhering to the use of force policy.

He says public announcements cautioning persons with illegal guns to surrender when accosted by the police, have also contributed to the reduction, when compared to the similar period last year.

“I am cautiously optimistic that these efforts are starting to bear fruit, and one clear indicator of this is in the reduced incidents of police fatal shootings,” stated Minister Bunting in his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, May 13.

He said the Force must be seen by the society as committed to serving, protecting and reassuring, while maintaining a high level of professionalism.
“Implementing protocols to strengthen the independent investigation of police fatal shootings are all designed to produce a police service that is equipped and trained to deliver 21st century policing. Police personnel must operate in communities as peace officers, protecting and reassuring the law abiding, interrupting and preventing the transmitting of crime and violence, and participating with the community to build respect for law and order,” the Minister added.

Meanwhile, he announced that an additional Deputy Commissioner position will be established. This officer will be responsible for the security services portfolio.

“This unit will be responsible for VIP, Government officials, judges, diplomats, as well as securing critical facilities such as Parliament, King’s House, the courts, ports and airports, and other critical infrastructure. It will also replace the Canine and Marine Divisions,” Mr. Bunting informed.

Turning to reforms in the JCF, the Minister noted that there is now more than 2,000 additional members under one command and communication structure, as a result of the successful merger of the Island Special Constabulary Force, and the JCF.

While lauding the work of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), the Major Organised Crime Division, and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA), the Minister stated that the work of these units “is indicative of the efforts we are making to reduce corruption in our country. No longer can any individual or group feel confident that they can operate with impunity by virtue of power, position or popularity”.