Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has assured nationals in Miami, that relations between Jamaica and the United States remain strong.
Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson
He cited President Barack Obama’s nomination of career diplomat, Pamela Bridgewater, as Ambassador to Jamaica, as evidence of the continued solid relationship. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee conducted the confirmation hearing on Mrs. Bridgewater’s nomination on July 28.
In addition, Minister Nelson said the country continued to receive support from the US on law enforcement and security matters, and expressed pleasure with the outcome of recent high level discussions held in Washington.
He was speaking at the anniversary service to commemorate Jamaica’s 48th year of Independence held on July 25 at the Kendall Community Church of God.
Turning to crime, he noted that the Government, over the past months, had undertaken a number of initiatives to rid communities of gangs and criminal networks. He said that the measures were bearing fruit, with major crime declining by 29 per cent in May and a further 40 per cent in June.
“Criminals are now afraid of the police,” Minister Nelson said, noting that a number of well-known gang leaders and dons, and other persons of interest had been detained, while investigations were ongoing.
He informed that every effort was being made to build trust and confidence between law enforcement officers and citizens, through community policing and intervention programmes.
Local and international agencies are providing support for social programmes, he said, citing funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop vocational skill-training projects in several communities.
Minister Nelson said that the Government was also providing assistance for deportees, through programmes such as the Jamaica Reducing Reoffending Action Plan (JRRAP), which was being funded by the British Government.
The programme offers a range of services including accommodation, health and employment assistance to deportees on their arrival to the island.