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Superintendent in charge of the St. Elizabeth Police, Dezeita Taylor, said the law officers are on a renewed thrust to rid the parish of criminal activities.

She noted that a number of initiatives are being put in place, working in collaboration with the various stakeholders.

"We have increased our visibility on the roads and undertaken more policing activities, and are meeting with the citizenry, and partnering with our main stakeholders to see how best we can have a reduction in crime," she said.

Superintendent Taylor, who spoke to reporters on Friday (March 30), while accompanying Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, on a tour of police stations in the parish, said that special emphasis is being placed on the vexed issue of praedial larceny.

"We are working on the praedial larceny programme. We will be assisting with meetings for farmers. We have a committed team and we are working closely with the ISCF (Island Special Constabulary Force) and all our stakeholders, so we should achieve some success with praedial larceny," she stated.

She said that getting rid of school gangs is also a critical area of focus and made a plea for "persons of goodwill" to support the school mentoring programme. The initiative, which has been in place for some time, involves mentors going into the schools for one-on-one sessions with students, where they serve as role models, and provide guidance and advice that promote positive and responsible behaviours.

"We have persons working in a number of the schools and it would be good if more persons come on board to assist us. Any well thinking person, who is willing to assist the process, we welcome them, and they may contact me at: 965-2359, 965-2236-7, or 322-5240," Superintendent Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Derrick Cochrane, who is in charge of the Area Three police division comprising St. Elizabeth and Manchester, said the officers are determined to continue the fight to capture criminals, who believe that rural Jamaica is a safe haven from law enforcers in the urban centres.

"We are pursuing the gang members, who are dispersed throughout rural Jamaica from other hotspot areas,” he said.

Stressing the urgency of tackling violence in schools, the ACP said that the matter, “if not properly handled, can result in murders. We are looking at how we deal with mediation, anger management and dispute resolution."

           

By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter