The police have reported a 10 per cent increase in operational activities for 2009, with raids leading the way.
Providing the figures at a press briefing at the Police Officers’ Club, Hope Road, Kingston on Thursday (January 7), Acting Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Glenmore Hinds, said that there were 53,967 raids, up from 42,387 in 2008, or a 27 per cent increase.
Mobile patrols increased by 13 per cent, from 227, 135 in 2008 to 256, 182 last year.
“This came primarily as a result of the intake of 140 new motor cars and pick-ups in the fourth quarter of 2009, and the reorganisation of the Motorised Patrol Division (MPD) and the Traffic Division,” Mr. Hinds noted.
The MPD, with the addition of 50 new personnel as well as the new vehicles, was able to increase patrols from 10 per shift to 35 per shift.
“This has helped to improve the JCF’s motorised coverage, especially in the Corporate Area,” he told the briefing.
Foot patrols increased by 15 per cent, from 43,051 to 49, 626. He said that this was a direct result of the increase in police personnel at the MPD, and the commitment of the Geographic Divisions to this type of operational activity.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations, Glenmore Hinds (centre) speaking at a press briefing at the Police Officers’ Club, Hope Road, Kingston on Thursday morning (January 7). At right is Operation Kingfish spokesman, Inspector Steve Brown. Communications Director for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Karl Angell, is at left.
DCP Hinds said the incorporation of the highway patrol into the geographic divisions, which were previously managed by area commands, and the consolidation of the traffic division, led to a 12 per cent increase in the number of vehicles searched (1,356 730 in 2008 compared to 1,5,21,860 in 2009).
There was an increase of 23 per cent in the number of tickets issued for traffic violations, from 520,379 to 641,434. Assorted ammunition seized totaled 8,430, compared with 6,519 in 2008. Six hundred and ninety-one firearms, two less than in 2008, were seized.
There was an overall increase of 33 per cent in the number of offensive weapons seized. DCP Hinds said this was significant as the increase reflected the work done mainly by the JCF’s Schools Resource Officers and police personnel in the Geographic Divisions, as most of the offensive weapons, including knives and ice picks, were from children and adults in public spaces, such as bus parks.
Some 993 persons wanted for various crimes were captured. This compares to 653 in 2008, an increase of 52 per cent. The majority of these persons have been charged and are now going through the Court process.
DCP Hinds pointed out that, despite the increases in operations, it was not prudent to assume that there would be corresponding reduction in the figures for crime, as other variables had to be considered. He also declined to comment on crime figures for the year, as the statistics have not yet been finalised.
“We are confident that with the platform built in the last quarter of 2009, going into 2010, that our activities will certainly increase for next year and we are expecting corresponding results in other areas of our activities,” he stated.
On another note, he said that the Ferry Police Station, Mandela Highway, St. Catherine, will next week become part of the St. Catherine South Police Division. Previously, Ferry was managed by the Traffic Division. As part of its new geographical assignment, the station will provide the services offered by other police stations, with special emphasis on road policing.