JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Security Minister has stated that there has been a "These, he informed, included a “sharp” increase in the recovery of firearms and seizure of drugs in 2012," pointing out that “this has continued in the current year.”
  • However, the Minister emphasized that both committed police personnel and a supportive society are necessary to curb crime.
  • “When we get all of those interest groups engaged, then I think we would really start to see some significant progress in reducing the levels of crime and violence.”

National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, is emphasizing the need for wide-scale stakeholder partnership with the Government, and support for crime-fighting efforts, in order to reduce the incidence of criminal activities island wide.

Speaking at a motor vehicle handing over ceremony at the Police Commissioner’s Office, Old Hope Road, St. Andrew, on October 8, Mr. Bunting cited several of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) crime fighting successes over the last 12 months.

These, he informed, included a “sharp” increase in the recovery of firearms and seizure of drugs in 2012, pointing out that “this has continued in the current year.”

“We see an excellent effort in the activities of the police in terms of the number of vehicle checkpoints, in terms of the number of raids, (to deter) human trafficking, to interrupt narcotics trafficking and to reduce gang activity,” he said.

Mr. Bunting also highlighted the government’s support to the JCF through the provision of equipment. These include the latest acquisition – Mitsubishi 4X4 twin-cap pick-ups, valued over $136 million, which he symbolically handed over to JCF Head, Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, to boost the organization’s fleet.

The Minister noted that government’s provision of equipment to the JCF is not limited to vehicles, as Cabinet has approved an upgrade of the automated palm and fingerprint identification system.

“(This) will see us spending substantial amounts of money, between US$2 million and US$3 million, to upgrade that system. We will have to rely less on witness evidence and more on forensic evidence collected at crime scenes,” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Bunting said the aggregate numbers of all police personnel, inclusive of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), and District Constables, have recorded a “substantial” increase over the last five years, growing by 25 per cent.

Despite these inputs, which the Minister described as “necessary,” he contended that they are not sufficient to curb crime.

“It also requires committed police officers who are willing to protect the lives and property of our citizens. It also requires a supportive society, because the police efforts, by themselves, will never reduce crime to where we need it to go, until we have a supportive set of institutions within government, right across the chain of law enforcement; supportive communities; a supportive media; a supportive private sector; and a supportive non-governmental organisation (NGO) community, to include faith-based groups,” Mr. Bunting argued.

The Minister  emphasized that,  “when we get all of those interest groups engaged, then I think we would really start to see some significant progress in reducing the levels of crime and violence.”