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Story Highlights

  • Within the next few months, citizens with access to android smart phones will be able to download a special application (app), allowing them to report a crime or send information to the police, anonymously.
  • The application, which is slated to be launched in the first quarter of this fiscal year, will also provide alerts from the police, similar to the Ananda Alert.
  • It will also give the option of a panic button, so that residents can alert the police without anonymity.

Within the next few months, citizens with access to android smart phones will be able to download a special application (app), allowing them to report a crime or send information to the police, anonymously.

The application, which is slated to be launched in the first quarter of this fiscal year, will also provide alerts from the police, similar to the Ananda Alert, as well as relevant updates to newly passed laws.

It will also give the option of a panic button, so that residents can alert the police without anonymity.

As contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House, on Tuesday, May 13, the initiative is part of a series of programmes to be implemented by the Ministry of National Security to further strengthen the Unite for Change project. The Ministry Paper was tabled by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting.

Other initiatives to be rolled out under the Unite for Change programme include a major advertising campaign, which will see the implementation of a series of advertisements to support a change in social norms.

Also, in June a special forum will be held in western Jamaica aimed at increasing awareness and support for the programme and to encourage citizens to become active partners in Unite for Change.

The Ministry of National Security is also slated to partner with the Ministries of Youth and Culture and Labour to determine the extent to which this year’s Independence, Emancipation and Labour Day celebrations will be aligned with the Unite for Change message.

Since its launch in December 2013, the Unite for Change programme has seen the successful implementation of a number of initiatives, which have garnered much support across the island.

These include a series of one-day corner league football competitions, which were held at the end of December into the first two weeks of January to engage 23 communities that were having elevated levels of violence.

The competitions were held in partnership with the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Violence Prevention Alliance (VPI), Sistren and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).

Additionally, Unite for Change community meetings have been held in Vineyard Town, St. Andrew; Hayes, Clarendon; Spanish Town, St. Catherine; and Mandeville, Manchester.

For peace month in March the programme partnered with the CSJP and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Safe Schools Programme to target youth, beginning with a Peace Day concert in Emancipation Park and followed by a tour of 12 schools across the island.

The schools were engaged for direct intervention via motivational talks with Grades 8 and 9 students, where a Unite for Change School Pledge was introduced and the entire schools engaged in Unite for Change discussions and ‘lunch time concerts’.

The UFC has also participated in nine peace marches with Minister Bunting being a featured speaker. Marches were held in West Kingston, Dunkirk, Rockfort, Old Harbour, Mandeville, Spanish Town, August Town and the South West and Central St. Andrew Police Divisions.

Twenty Unite for Change ambassadors were trained to act as spokespersons to communicate the programme’s message across the island. Communication platforms were activated via Uniteforchangejm.org, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.