JIS News

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Serious and Organised Crime Branch, Les Green, is reporting a 49 per cent detection rate as one of the major successes, since the implementation of the Kingston and St. Andrew Major Investigation Task Force (MIT) in 2006.
He indicated that this detection rate has improved from 34 per cent, during a JIS ‘Think Tank’ presentation, yesterday (June 11).
“We have gone up from 34 to 49 per cent in the divisions we targeted and this has been a significant improvement in making sure that we identify criminals, working with the communities and building a really good community interaction, because it is quite noticeable that in Jamaica, people do not trust their local police,” Mr. Green said.
He also explained that the detection rate is affected by a number of reasons, which include death and the criminals being charged.
“It can be as a result of suspects we have good evidence against, who may have been killed either in their apprehension or by other criminals, because quite often other criminals get to the suspects before we can and they end up getting killed. But the vast majority of detections are cleared up as a result of criminal charges being placed and the suspects being placed before the courts,” he pointed out, adding that the investigative capabilities of the Task force have also been strengthened.
According to Mr. Green, the detection rate, while not at its very best, is a proud achievement.
“It’s a remarkable achievement because when you look at first world countries, for example, the detection rate in the US, which is about 60 per cent, isn’t very high. Our detection rate is quite credible and it is something we should be proud of.certainly if we can boost it beyond the 50 per cent and slowly increase it as we go on, we will have significant improvement,” he said.
The Assistant Commissioner pointed out that the crime scene investigative capabilities of the MIT have also improved, citing the presence of 16 recently appointed Forensic Crime Scene Investigators who have met the required international standards.
In addition, digital photography is being utilized to take clearer images. “We have a lot more photographs, they are clearer and now you can see what you are looking for very quickly. It can be copied on a CD and given to a judge or investigator and the images can be shown to witnesses to get better accounts from them in relation to what they saw, where they were, so it is a much improved system,” Mr. Green said.
Another success of the MIT is the availability and use of new forensic equipment, such as drying cabinets.
“We have provided new drying cabinets for bloodstained clothing in a controlled environment, which is also more sterile, safer and more effective. It is a much improved process. The cabinets will be made available islandwide,” he informed.
Additionally, four forensic hubs have been set up at 1 Duke Street in Kingston, May Pen, St. James and Pompano Bay.
According to the Assistant Commissioner, residents in the divisions are much more willing to make reports to the Serious and Organized Crime Branch offices, located on Ocean Boulevard in downtown Kingston.
“They have this perception, sometimes it’s valid, often it isn’t, but the [residents] are quite happy to go into a different office away from their local environment. They are much more willing to go there [Ocean Boulevard] than one of their local police stations, more positive and enthusiastic about coming in,” he said.
The Kingston and St. Andrew Major Investigation Task Force was formed to investigate all murders committed with the use of firearms in the six divisions of Kingston and St. Andrew.

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