JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan, has said that the Ministry’s major focus for 2009, would be the implementation of the 124 recommendations made during the strategic review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
In an interview with JIS News, the Minister pointed out that special emphasis would be placed on the recommendation to change the culture of the JCF.
“The major operation for the new year is the implementation of the 124 recommendations of the review of the Police Force by both national and international organisations. One of the major recommendations is to change the culture of the Force,” he said.
Senator MacMillan explained that changing the culture of the JCF would take time, but it is critical to the crime fighting process.
“Changing the culture of the force will take time, it won’t happen overnight, but if you start to work on it from now, in due course we expect to see changes in police attitudes. Change in police attitude is important and the officers are aware and they understand that they cannot be successful without the co-operation of the communities. Thus, the only way they can get the respect is if the community respects them,” he said.
Senator MacMillan emphasised that respect could not be demanded, it must be earned.
“The police cannot demand that respect, they have to win that respect from the community. It will take a while, but it must be done. Take for instance, in the community of Fletchers Land (in Kingston), there is an area in which the police have been working hand to hand with the community. I can tell you that they respect each other and the crime statistics have shown a dramatic decrease in crime,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that people’s attitudes need to be changed also, as it is a process that must be characterised by reciprocity.
“Changing people’s attitude is something to be done over a period of time. We have to change the people’s attitudes towards the police and the police’s attitude towards people. It is something that must be done if the police are to become professional,” he pointed out.
He said that the community has a part to play and the Ministry would be implementing a public education campaign, to advise people about what they should do.
“We are launching a public education campaign called, “WE CAN STOP IT’. This campaign will basically give advice to people, helping them to understand what they should do, including working with the security forces. And, we are trying to get, through that public education programme, an impact that will make people more alert,” the Minister said.

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