The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be heightening safety and security measures over the next eight weeks, in anticipation of increased activities during the Christmas season.
This was announced by Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who said this forms part of the Ministry’s overall crime management strategy which will see “a significant ramping up of police presence, particularly in the commercial districts and public spaces.”
“This will be accompanied by other strategic, targeted and intelligence-driven security operations to bolster public safety, maintain public order, deter acquisitive and violent crimes, and further disrupt gangs,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at a press conference at Jamaica House on Thursday (November 7).
Dr. Chang said the security measures are being intensified so that law-biding Jamaicans can feel safe while going about their business and making preparations for the end of the year.
“The Government firmly believes that law-abiding citizens must be able to conduct their business in a safe and secure environment without fear of criminal activity. This becomes even more pronounced at this time of the year when there are increased commercial, social and family-oriented activities taking place,” he said.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, said the heightened measures are being rolled out much earlier than previous years.
“We are going from this point forward to… not only secure our city and our town centres [and] our commercial areas, between now and the end of the year, but also, as we go into next year, we want to set the conditions that we can have a successful year…in terms of the safety of our public,” he said.
Major General Anderson further informed that he met with JCF Divisional Commanders on Monday and gave them a mandate to, not only focus on town centres, but also gangs, guns and criminal leaders (dons) over the next two months.
He advised that a 27-member quick response motorcycle team will commence operating in and around Montego Bay, adding that this arrangement will be replicated in other areas.
In his remarks, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, informed that a joint task force has been established to support the JCF in a number of hotspots and police divisions islandwide.
“The joint task force is essentially an amalgamation of and reorganisation of the units and resources of the force. The goal here is to maintain a highly mobile and visible presence in these areas in order to deter criminal activities,” he said.
General Meade assured that this undertaking “will place members of the security forces where they are most effective and most needed.”
He noted that one of the most significant features of the joint task force is the incorporation of over 400 new Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) graduates.
“These new soldiers have been extensively trained and are highly committed to playing their part and making their presence felt as part of Jamaica’s overall security infrastructure,” the CDS said.
He added that the JDF will also be committing the “full gamut” of its intelligence capabilities and some specialised equipment and resources to support and sustain continuous operations over the period.
“This will result in more snap raids, more patrols, more checkpoints and, overall. more soldiers and police in the affected communities,” General Meade stated.