JIS News

Residents of Portmore are being encouraged to resuscitate neighbourhood watch groups as part of efforts to combat crime.
The call came from Sergeant Isaiah Beckford of the Community Relations Department of the Portmore Police, in his address at a community forum held at the Lions Civic Centre in Edgewater on November 15.Sergeant Beckford said neighbourhood watches were once vibrant in Portmore with more than 35 bodies in existence, but as time passed and people have opted to grill their homes and undertake other personal security methods, these groups have either diminished or residents have lost interest in their effectiveness. He noted however, that “since incidents of crime have increased in communities it is time citizens become pro-active and re-start neighbourhood watch programmes”. The presence of these bodies, he pointed out, would help make communities safer.
Sergeant Beckford said communities did not necessarily need to form new groups, as many already exist, but were just not active. “Therefore, we’re going to ask that any and everyone, who has been a part of a neighbourhood watch group, to go back to their respective communities and take steps to re-form the inactive neighbourhood watch programme,” he urged.
He further advised that residents contact the police in their area for tips on how to start neighbourhood watches.
In the meantime, Sergeant Beckford challenged members of the security forces, who live in these communities, in addition to civic leaders and other concerned persons, “to lead from the front in re-energising an atmosphere of concern and collective safety in communities”.
“The security forces” he told the residents, “are eager to assist in the re-emergence of organized community assistance in the fight against crime and so are willing to give whatever assistance they can in the re-formation and re-emergence of community neighbourhood watches”.