JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has said that several vulnerable communities are expected to benefit from social intervention programmes, aimed at improving safety and security.
  • Opening the 2006/07 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on May 30, Dr. Phillips explained that these programmes of social intervention sought to ensure that after the criminal elites in vulnerable communities were brought to justice, the community would be able to make a social transformation.
  • Dr. Phillips also cited as part of the strategy to bring about social transformation in vulnerable communities, the Community Security Initiative (CSI), which the Ministry launched last year.

Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has said that several vulnerable communities are expected to benefit from social intervention programmes, aimed at improving safety and security.
Opening the 2006/07 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on May 30, Dr. Phillips explained that these programmes of social intervention sought to ensure that after the criminal elites in vulnerable communities were brought to justice, the community would be able to make a social transformation.
“Our social intervention programmes help to ensure that after the removal of criminal elites, communities are given a jump start in the process of transformation,” he emphasized.
“While our security strategy treats the community as the basic unit of social organization and our security initiatives are generally designed to effect positive change at the level of the community, there are some individuals who play critical roles in directing and controlling criminal enterprises. Our communities are not safe until the firepower in the hands of criminals is removed and the criminal elites are brought to justice,” he added. Dr. Phillips also cited as part of the strategy to bring about social transformation in vulnerable communities, the Community Security Initiative (CSI), which the Ministry launched last year.
“The Community Security Initiative has been working in close collaboration with the Anti-Crime Social Intervention Unit of the Cabinet Office, and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme in select communities that require help to get started back on a path of social development more in line with authentic Jamaican culture,” he said.
Some of the communities that have benefited from this programme so far are Brown’s Town in East Kingston, Downtown Kingston, Fletchers Land, Mountain View and Drewsland, among others.
“We are now poised to take on some four communities around Spanish Town. These programmes are involved in activities such as: parenting education, employment, community capacity building, repairs to community centres, and leadership training. The intent is to bring about a social transformation of the communities in the long run,” the Minister said.
Dr. Phillips, in addressing other issues relating to programmes of social intervention at the community level, cited the Safe School Programme (SSP), which launched in September 2004. It is designed to stem violence in institutions of learning by placing law enforcement officers from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) or School Resource Officers (SROs) to mediate in disputes.
“School Principals attest to the fact that the 114 SROs supplied by the JCF to some 93 schools across the island have done a tremendous job in helping to enhance the safety of schools. We are training an additional 30 SROs over the summer in order to extend the service in the new school year,” he informed.
Dr. Phillips pointed out that, “these interventions by the Ministry of National Security need to be expanded into a comprehensive nationally co-ordinated programme with the requisite resource base to transform our communities, build social cohesion, and make them safer and more prosperous,” he said.