The Ministry of National Security and the security forces are actively devising strategies to address the increase in the levels of crime affecting the island over the last few weeks.
This was stated by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 13).
Mr. Montague said there has been an increase in police operations islandwide, but more so in the parishes of Hanover and Clarendon.
“The security forces will be strategically increasing their presence in the public space; and there will be roadblocks, curfews, and cordon and search operations,” he pointed out.
He urged members of the public who may be inconvenienced by this increase in security operations to exercise patience and understanding, and to cooperate with the security forces.
Mr. Montague said the police will also release a list of wanted persons and persons of interest, and “we are asking members of the public who have information to use any of the channels to anonymously pass on information.”
He also encouraged persons to download the Stay Alert app from the Google or Apple Store, to call Crime Stop, or write the information, place it in an envelope, mark an X on it and drop it in the mailbox at any post office.
In terms of legislation, the Government is far advanced with amendments to the Firearm Act, which when enacted, is expected to reap benefits.
In addition, Mr. Montague is urging the quick passage of the Special Measures Act, which is before a Joint Parliamentary Committee, to enable the police to clear, hold and build specific communities that are of interest.
“Consequent to this Act will be amendments to the Anti-Gang legislation which will allow the police to apply to the courts and designate criminal organisations, seek Control Orders for members of these organisations, and make it an offence to be a member,” he said.
The Bail Act will also be amended “as there are too many incidents being perpetrated by persons on bail,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Montague informed that the country’s investment in the intelligence network is paying huge dividends as there has been an increase in the retrieval of firearms.
“The investment in our forensic system is paying off as more intelligence is being gleaned from the scenes of crime,” he noted.
The Ministry has also received 35 of the 200 pre-owned cars, with another 45 cars and 15 pickups to be delivered in two weeks.
“The two ships we bought recently are patrolling the seas and are helping to stem the entry of contraband, whether drugs or guns. The procurement of 20 lawyers for the Jamaica Constabulary Force to assist in building cases is well under way,” Mr. Montague said.
He said the Police High Command is reviewing the case files of police personnel who have been suspended/interdicted, with a view to fast-tracking the process which will allow for more police to be put back on the streets
Mr. Montague also informed that the Jamaica Constabulary Force has received 3,000 ballistic vests, and 2,500 ballistic helmets for the protection of its members
“We will shortly take possession of five of 20 mobile stations for the Jamaica Constabulary Force. We have increased the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Montego Bay, and have started to install some in Spanish Town and Kingston. As a matter of fact, 21 have already been installed in Kingston,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that the Ministry is far advanced with the development of a National CCTV Network where the feeds from private entities will be received. The necessary analytical software will also be used to process the footage received.
He also noted that the Security Ministry is far advanced in negotiating special traffic cameras with licence plate readers to be installed across the island to track the movement of persons of interest, and stolen vehicles.
“I once again urge all well-thinking Jamaicans to unite, to be aware, to give information to the police, and to be calm. We also make this call to all Jamaicans with workable ideas and solutions to come to the table as we remain committed to working with everyone who has Jamaica’s interest at heart,” the Minister said.
Article by: Latonya Linton
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm