• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says he is targeting a further reduction in all crimes for 2013.
    • Jamaica recorded a seven per cent reduction in murders, shootings and other serious crimes in 2012, to register the lowest number of offences the country has seen since 2004.
    • Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on January 16, Mr. Bunting pointed out that while the reduction in murders was not as low as many would have liked, it was the lowest the country had seen in nine years with 1,087 being reported.

    National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says he is targeting a further reduction in all crimes for 2013.

    Jamaica recorded a seven per cent reduction in murders, shootings and other serious crimes in 2012, to register the lowest number of offences the country has seen since 2004.

    Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on January 16, Mr. Bunting pointed out that while the reduction in murders was not as low as many would have liked, it was the lowest the country had seen in nine years with 1,087 being reported.

    The Minister further informed that he will be implementing a number of measures over the course of the year, and beyond, in an effort to achieve his target. Among them is the training of an additional 5,000 soldiers and police officers to boost the crime fighting capacity of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

    “The approved establishment for the JCF is about 12,000 and the approved establishment for the JDF is about 5,500 and in aggregate, we were about 5,000 below that – about 9,000 roughly for JCF and about 3,500 for the JDF,” he pointed out.

    Mr. Bunting said his goal, therefore, is to increase the strength of the security forces to the approved establishment. He said that over the next five years the Ministry has set a target to recruit and train an additional 5,000 security personnel for the JDF and JCF. This recruitment and training programme has already been implemented with much success, he informed.

    Additionally, the Minister said one of the main crime fighting initiatives for 2013 will be increased vehicle checkpoints in many areas. “These checkpoints are not random. They are intelligence driven and are intended to obstruct the free movement of criminals,” he said.

    “Criminals can’t feel like they can move around with guns, with assault rifles freely without serious risk of being confronted by the police,” he argued.

    However, the Minister emphasized that the Government was against extra-judicial killings, which would be investigated by the Independent Investigation Commission (INDECOM).

    “We do assessments carefully to ensure that every use of lethal force is justified and if it is not justified, then INDECOM, on completion of their investigations, are going to recommend that those persons be charged,” he said.

    Mr. Bunting said the Ministry is also looking to increase mobility for members of the JDF and JCF by an additional 500 vehicles. “Roughly 50 per cent of the effort of the military in normal times is in support of policing, whether on land or the coast guard or the air wing. So, the 500 vehicles are really what we would provide each year between the police and the military,” the Minister noted.