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JIS News

Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas, has vowed to make crime reduction a priority for the police in western Jamaica this year, to ensure the safety of citizens and the business community in particular.
The Commissioner, who was addressing a meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce at the Sunset Beach Resort yesterday (Jan.12), said he was fully aware of predictions that the 2006 winter tourist season will be one of the best ever, and promised that everything would be done from a policing standpoint, to ensure that that goal was achieved.
“I am therefore guaranteeing you from the police standpoint, that whatever it takes to police the areas well, we will be doing that.wherever the numbers are to come from we will find them so that the police can have an effective presence on the streets”, he stated.
He added, “we just want to reassure you all that St. James and indeed Negril to Falmouth, through your roads to Ocho Rios or wherever you go carrying the visitors, whether they be in the hotels or in your mini bus, or on your beaches or wherever, we are guaranteeing that we are going to provide the necessary policing to make life comfortable for your visitors and that you can earn from your investments and that the industry will grow, because ultimately, I know it (tourism) is one of Jamaica’s biggest economic earners.”
He informed that St. James had the highest number of police in Jamaica with over 500 men and women on duty in the parish.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner called for a revisiting of the community policing concept, to involve citizens in the crime fighting process. He noted that nowhere in the world could a police force effectively succeed in fighting crime without the contribution of citizens.
“This is why we encourage all our officers on the ground . it must be that you are involved on a daily basis with the people on the streets by calling meetings . go to the community and public areas, meet the people there and create that necessary partnership, as any organized force like ours must seek partnerships with other agencies in order to tackle the scourge of crime,” he pointed out.
Turning to policing in St. James, the Commissioner informed of a reduction in crime and criminal activities, which he attributed to the policing strategies instituted by Assistant Commissioner Keith Gardener and his team.
He also observed that Kingfish has been reaping much success in nabbing the criminal masterminds and these successes should continue in the new year. “Kingfish will be targeting, has targeted and will continue to target some of the people of influence. A number of these persons are now before the courts and others will go before the courts in due time,” Commissioner Thomas informed.
He further told the meeting, that every effort was being made to rid the force of corrupt cops, recognizing that “intelligence strives where there is trust and confidence, where fear doesn’t exist”.
“This is one of the reasons why we are now cleaning our own house if we are going to succeed. We must clean the force and weed out from among us the members that continue to embarrass us, hence the launching of our Professional Standards Branch and Anti-corruption Strategy,” the Commissioner stated.