JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has assured residents of St. Mary that his Ministry will deal with a shortage of police in the parish to handle an increase in crimes in some areas.
Senator Nelson, who was responding to questions from residents of Enfield, who spoke of being “terrified” by an increase in gang-related shootings in their town since the start of the year, admitted that he had been made aware of the situation by the Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Tarn Peralto, and was in discussions with the police high command.
He said that he had three majors concerns: the need for more personnel to properly police the parish; the need for more attention to be paid, by the police, to critical areas subject to crime, including business places; and the need to promote public trust in the police.
“The shortage of police personnel here is something that must be addressed. I assure you, tonight, that this is a matter that I am going to have some serious discussions with the Commissioner of Police about, because wherever the men are to be found, St. Mary has to be given priority consideration,” the Minister said.
He was speaking to a large crowd attending Wednesday night’s Town Hall Meeting, hosted by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, to explain the provisions of the 2009/10 Budget and to allow the public a chance to get answers to issues affecting them and their communities.
Senator Nelson said that he accepted the responsibility to ensure that the shortage of police personnel in the parish is dealt with, urgently. However, he said that, in addition, there is also need for a new relationship to be struck between the police and residents of the parish, based on their trust in the police force.
Mr. Peralto told JIS News, after the meeting, that residents of Enfield are “terrified and frightened” by the spate of violence triggered by the shooting of a man, which has led to a number of reprisal shootings.

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