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KINGSTON — National Security Minister, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, says there has been a significant increase in the level of confidence that citizens have in members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Speaking at a handing over of 21 additional vehicles to the JCF at the Office of the Police Commissioner, Old Hope Road, St. Andrew, on July 20, Senator Nelson pointed to greater camaraderie which currently exists between the Police and citizens.  

“When you go into communities, where previously communities would have been reluctant to co-operate with the Police force, today that is rapidly changing. We have registered 645 new Neighbourhood Watches, which is demonstrative of the increased confidence that the citizens have in the police force,” the Minister said.

“I take this opportunity to urge all citizens to join the law enforcement officers and the government in the fight against crime. The security forces need the co-operation of citizens to properly and effectively protect their communities,” he added.

The 21 new vehicles, all Ford Crown Victoria sedans, valued at approximately US$117,000, were acquired through the instrumentality of Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, and gaming entity, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL).

In thanking SVL, Senator Nelson said the gesture was a manifestation of their willingness to offer solutions to the challenge of crime and violence, by assisting to enhance the JCF's mobility, “a very critical area of operations of the security forces."

“I would like to encourage other corporate citizens to also partner with us and become actively involved in keeping up the pressure in tackling crime and violence in our communities. SVL has shown support that is much more than any moral exhortation. It is concrete and tangible,” Senator Nelson said, while acknowledging the input of Minister Vaz.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, described the handover as a “very good moment.” Noting that the JCF has been endeavouring to deal with crime and other national security issues as best as they could, the Commissioner informed that, “we have been seeing some measure of success, and we have been constantly reviewing our strategies."

“For us to expand our strategy on reducing crimes, and especially the serious violent ones, we must build our mobility.  As much as the government tries, given the very tight fiscal situation which confronts the country, and many other countries around the world, we understand that force mobility will not get to the level desirable unless we can get the support of corporate entities, such as Supreme Ventures,” he argued.

Mr. Ellington said the vehicles were specifically designed for law enforcement, and underscored the need for the officers who would be entrusted with them, to exercise due care and proper control over the units.

In his remarks, Chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited, Paul Hoo, said the entity’s gesture was demonstrative of its understanding of the JCF’s “needs and plight."

Noting that Jamaica, like other countries globally, experiences its fair share of crime and violence, he contended that, “if each and every individual takes a chip away from that mountain, it will certainly make the job easier."

 

By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter