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JIS News

Residents of Prospect in Portland have taken a proactive approach to crime in their community, with the launch of the Prospect Neighbouthood Watch on Thursday, December 9.
The community crime prevention initiative is the 20th to be launched in the parish and the 631st across the island since the programme’s inception in 1987.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) at the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB), Katrina Powell-Hood, said the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) intends to use the neighbourhood watch programme as one of its main crime prevention tools.
She said through the programme, problems can be identified and eliminated before they contribute to crime.
“We must work hard at addressing the small challenges that exist in the community. Little things such as bushing overgrown areas or ensuring that a streetlight gets repaired are ways that we can help to make our community safe,” she pointed out.
Stating that each person has an obligation to play their part in ensuring the safety of their community, DSP Powell-Hood said: “there is nothing that can beat the collective power of people when they work together for a common goal.”
She called on the citizens to be resolute in working to improve their community, and reminded them that crime fighting is not only a responsibility for the police, but for every well-thinking citizen, who wants to have a crime-free neighbourood.
Lamenting the significant number of dormant neighbourhood watch programmes across the country, she implored the residents to ensure that this initiative is sustained and kept alive.
DSP Powell-Hood commended the youth involvement in the programme and urged the community members to continue to “integrate the youth in whatever programmes you are doing, harness them, get them involved and civic minded, so that they can understand what the true meaning of community is.”
President of the Prospect Neighbourhood Watch, Devon Lowe, said the community will also be undertaking environmental projects, and assisting students with back to school expenses.
He said the residents were also in the process of making representation to the various government agencies such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), on a number of development initiatives.
Meanwhile, Denesha Allen, a resident from the area expressed her appreciation for the initiative, noting that it would have a positive impact on the young people.
Also attending the function were, Deputy Superintendent of Police in charge of Portland, Rex Swearing; members of the CSSB in Portland; and Community Development Officer at the Social Development Commission (SDC) parish office, Nadine Simpson-Mclean.