JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is placing renewed emphasis on crime reduction for the enabling of safer communities, through collaborations with several partner groups.
  • Mr. Bunting says, "Sustainable reductions in crime and violence require a deliberate and focused strategy, which coordinates law enforcement, justice and social development programmes."
  • The Minister emphasized that for Jamaica to successfully dent crime, a new management and governance pattern must be developed for citizen security.

The Government is placing renewed emphasis on crime reduction for the enabling of safer communities, through collaborations with several partner groups, such as churches, businesses and youth organizations, while facilitating training and employability for persons in at-risk sections of the society.

Making his contribution in the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, May 13, Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, explained that under the United for Change (UFC) initiative, collective engagements of residents in “priority” communities have been harnessed to support violence prevention activities.

“While we continue to interrupt the transmission of crime through our crime control initiatives, we are placing increased emphasis on crime prevention by addressing dysfunctions at the levels of family, community, school, social services, and society; recognizing that crime statistics are the outcome of failures or weaknesses at all these levels,” the Minister said.

“Sustainable reductions in crime and violence require a deliberate and focused strategy, which coordinates law enforcement, justice and social development programmes, at the national, community and individual levels, to address the casual factors and prevent further spread,” he added.

Describing crime as an epidemic that can be contained, Mr. Bunting said education on the causes must be part of any reduction effort, adding that the passion of persons must be ignited and their commitment given to reverse it. “This is what the Unite for Change initiative is about,” the Minister explained.

Mr. Bunting told the House that the expanded Citizen Security and Justice Internship Programme (CSJP), which is administered by his Ministry, will shortly address culture change through social interventions. “These include parenting education, counselling, and psychosocial support for those exposed to violence,” he noted.

The Minister emphasized that for Jamaica to successfully dent crime, a new management and governance pattern must be developed for citizen security.

“Changing of attitudes is a major part of the UFC campaign, and will only receive greater support from personnel engaged with the initiative. It provides mentorship to targeted populations, and other support to communities such as events to create peace and people coming together for public stance against violence,” the Minister said.

“We intend to develop comprehensive programmes for selected youth, tailored by job-readiness levels. The programme will include classroom and workplace training, life skills, job preparation and placement services, remedial and formal education,” he added.

Mr. Bunting said emphasis will be placed on literacy and numeracy skills, and work orientation support involving the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

He pointed out that detecting and isolating the perpetrators of violent crime will remain the principal vehicle, but in dealing with the root causes, “citizen participation and cooperation among the public and private sectors, businesses, faith based groups, and unions, will enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of interventions.”