Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, on Thursday (June 17), toured police stations and correctional facilities in West Kingston to assess repair and upgrading needs.
The facilities visited were the Denham Town and Darling Street Police Stations, the Horizon Adult Remand Centre and the Metcalfe Street Juvenile Remand Centre.
Senator Samuda was accompanied by Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams and officials from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation and the National Works Agency (NWA), and Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Hon. Desmond McKenzie.
Senator Samuda said that the tour provided an opportunity to see the various needs first-hand and discuss the corrective measures that can be undertaken.
“We are scoping the problems now, so that we can properly approach fixing them,” he noted.
Senator Samuda said “significant investment” has been made over the past year to upgrade water storage at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, noting that the trucking of water to the facility and other correctional institutions has increased to ensure adequate hygiene and sanitisation measures.
Meanwhile, the Minister reported that the correctional system has stood up well to the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, noting that of the 11 facilities in the island, only one experienced a high level of infection.
“I commend the team for working hard and sticking to health protocols,” he said.
“For over a year we have had, per capita, a very low infection rate compared to other jurisdictions,” Senator Samuda added.
Minister McKenzie, in his remarks, commended the work of the police in the area, noting that the constituency has been seeing a “significant” reduction in criminal activities.
“We are enjoying relative peace and I want to commend the police and the community in general,” he said.
He expressed confidence that police-citizen relations will continue to improve, which will lead to further reduction in crime.
Minister McKenzie, who is also Local Government and Rural Development Minister, reported that work to clear the May Pen Cemetery will commence in another two weeks.