JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Several communities in and around Lakes Pen, in St. Catherine, now have access to a police post at a complex in the area.
  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, said the police post is suitably placed, where it can foster community policing.
  • Mr. Bunting stressed that community policing in the communities would reduce, and over time, eliminate suspicion and lack of trust between police and the people.

Several communities in and around Lakes Pen, in St. Catherine, now have access to a police post at a complex in the area, which also houses sporting facilities and a community centre, built at a cost of over $26 million.

The facilities were officially opened on Thursday, May 29, by Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, who said the police post is suitably placed, where it can foster community policing.

“It is at a hub of social interaction in the community, and it will give an excellent opportunity for the police personnel who are posted there, to get to know community members on an individual basis,” the Minister said, while addressing the opening ceremony, held at the Victory Open Bible Church, in the community.

Mr. Bunting stressed that community policing in the communities would reduce, and over time, eliminate suspicion and lack of trust between police and the people, as community policing must be built on a “foundation of trust between citizens and the police.”

The Minister said with the high number of children being charged for murders and other serious crimes, all sectors of the society must bond to find solutions. He noted that much of the problems are due to dysfunctional families, and called for active participation in the ‘Unite for Change’ initiative.

‘United for Change’ seeks to rekindle hope in the society and mobilise law-abiding citizens, by working together in a united front against crime.

The initiative is founded on the strategies of interrupting crime, particularly gang activities; preventing the spread of these activities; and changing group behaviours.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Owen Ellington, assured the gathering that the police personnel to be assigned to the post will not be staying in office to only take reports. “We are sending them here to work in the communities with you,” he said.

“They are to work with you to solve problems, and to be your partners, so that you can achieve lasting peace and security,” the Commissioner told the residents.

Urging the people to embrace the police, Mr. Ellington said the officers cannot deliver security results by themselves. “There has to be a willingness on the part of the citizens to work in partnership with the police,” he added.