Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says that law enforcement must re-establish a sense of public order if they are to regain the confidence of citizens.
He noted that public order is the first remit of the police force and “restoring a sense of law in our public spaces will create the environment for confidence, increased morale and greater engagement of the wider community”.
He said that key to the process is treating citizens with courtesy and respect, noting that anything to the contrary will result in “resentment and a lack of cooperation”.
“Professionalism means showing toleration… even in the face of provocation,” he added, while addressing the Jamaica Police Federation’s Annual Conference at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on May 16.
Dr. Chang commended the police officers for their excellent work in the fight against crime.
He noted that, increasingly, they will be called upon to get involved in their communities as agents of peace as well as enforcers of the law.
He said that by increasing engagement with citizens they will be able to inspire confidence and a willingness “to report crime and provide information that could lead to arrests”.
Meanwhile, the Minister told the police officers that the Government will provide the enabling legislative framework to improve their effectiveness.
“We are updating the anti-gang law, the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Jamaica Constabulary Act, which will enable the police service, as primary stakeholders, to move with greater efficiency,” Dr. Chang said.
He noted further that “the Corrections Act is critical and must also be brought into the 21st century to reduce recidivism in the legal system”.