JIS News

Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin has said that the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) major focus for 2009 will be to reduce murders by at least five per cent.
“We intend and we are projecting for this year a decrease in murder of at least five per cent. Other criminal activities may pose some challenge but we do anticipate a decrease in those numbers,” Commissioner Lewin asserted during a press conference on Tuesday (January 13) at the Police Officer’s Club in Kingston.
Statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Crime Statistic Review indicate a two per cent increase in crime last year when compared with the 1,583 recorded in 2007. The Commissioner revealed that the Force will be carrying out a number of strategic measures to facilitate the reduction in crime this year.
“We do anticipate a decrease in those numbers and why I say that is because, as we tighten crime management and recording systems we know that the data we get back will be far more accurate,” he noted, while adding that a number of other strategies will also be used.
“We will continue the roll out of community policing as the overarching philosophy governing policing in Jamaica; we will ramp up the reform and modernisation efforts through the review; we will step up the anti-corruption drive; and we will step up our counter gang and other anti-crime initiatives,” he stated.
Commissioner Lewin further pointed out that strategic priorities for 2009 will be made available to the public in two weeks, as the final draft of such priorities is now being reviewed by his management board.
Continuing, the Commissioner said that these strategic priorities will include “targeting criminal networks, community policing, capacity building within the force, and implementation of the recommendation of strategic review.”
He said that the Divisional Commanders will use the document as a guide for fighting crime in their areas.
“Divisional Commanders will be directed to use it as the basis for broader consultations with stakeholders at the local level within their geographic division. This review will enlist the support and the view of people into their policing plans and the idea is that by the deadline that is set in March, local commanders would have devised their own local policing plans for their geographic areas,” he added
The Commissioner is however urging citizens to play their part in helping to curb the crime wave.
“The turnout of stakeholders at consultations has not been encouraging and we are going to reach out to them. Therefore I am urging all citizens within these geographic commands or groupings (neighbourhood watch, civic groups) to fully support your geographical commanders by participating in these consultations and having your say, because it is your opportunity to claim some ownership into the plans that go into policing your communities,” he advised.

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