Prime Minister wants Culture of Responsiveness in Police Force

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, addresses a press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday, February 8, where he announced measures to counter domestic violence, sexual abuse and the sexual grooming of minors. Looking on are (from left): Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade; Acting Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant; Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte; and Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to facilitating a culture of responsiveness and sensitivity in the police force to reports of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Addressing a press conference at Jamaica House on February 9, Mr. Holness said an additional cohort of 400 officers will be trained this year in conflict resolution and domestic abuse issues, following the training of the first 400 last year.
  • Ms. Grant said while work is still being done to analyse the reports, JCF case files indicate that 50 per cent of perpetrators are known to the victims.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to facilitating a culture of responsiveness and sensitivity in the police force to reports of domestic and sexual violence.

Addressing a press conference at Jamaica House on February 9, Mr. Holness said an additional cohort of 400 officers will be trained this year in conflict resolution and domestic abuse issues, following the training of the first 400 last year.

Meanwhile, Acting Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant, said the police are concerned about the victimisation of women and girls and are proactively seeking to re-sensitise their members to these issues and gender-based violence.

“We still have some ways to go where some members are concerned, to be able to respond in victim-friendly ways; and (we want to) emphasise that we are talking about crimes and human rights abuse when we talk about domestic violence,” she said.

The Acting Commissioner noted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) arrested and charged a total of 1,442 perpetrators alleged to have committed assaultive and property violence against females between January 1, 2016 and February 4, 2017.

She informed that 86 persons have been arrested and charged for shooting, 67 for murder, 252 for rape and 95 for aggravated assault. She added that 202 persons have been charged for sexual offences, including indecent exposure, and 237 for sexual intercourse with a minor, while 280 were charged for robbery, 169 for break-ins, and 54 for larceny.

Ms. Grant said while work is still being done to analyse the reports, JCF case files indicate that 50 per cent of perpetrators are known to the victims.

She said the JCF will be ramping up its public education campaign to provide vulnerable members of society with the relevant knowledge to reduce the risk of victimisation.

The Acting Commissioner noted that the Force is collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to take the campaign into schools and also to urge students to abstain from behaviour such as videotaping and posting acts of violence to social media.

JIS Social