Head of CSS branch says communities can help solve crime

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Community Safety and Security (CSS) Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Steve McGregor, says communities can help to solve the crime problem.

Speaking at the opening of a mini library at the Bunker's Hill Community Centre in Trelawny on May 10, to mark the launch of the Trelawny Police Division Safe Community Initiative, he said the CSS team will be seeking to empower residents in various communities to foster good relations with the police to tackle the crime problem.

According to McGregor, despite the continued success of the police in arresting perpetrators of serious crimes and seizing various weapons over the years, crime continues to be a serious issue.

As a result, he said, the CSS has devised a strategy aimed at preventing some of the major crimes.

“We have come up with an idea to make a safe community in every parish. We will walk around with that one as an example to the others, and continue to make (safe communities) until we make the entire parish safe,” he explained.

McGregor said that for a community to be labelled a 'Safe Community', there are six pillars that must be built within that particular geographical area.

These include a curfew programme for young people 17 years old and under, where they will be expected to be off the streets by 9:00 pm each night; the establishment of a Police Youth Club; an active Neighbourhood Watch programme within the community; implementation of an active Consultative Committee; and all schools to be engaged in a Safe School programme with a mentorship component.

“Four of these are geared at our young people, because you would have learnt already that our young people make up the bulk of those who are being killed in our country, and, equally, they make up the bulk of those who are doing the killing. So, anything that we are doing to manage crime and violence, it must be a focal point as it relates to our young people,” explained McGregor.

For his part, Sergeant of Police in Charge of Community Safety and Security in the Trelawny Division, Wayne Wallace, reassured the residents that the launch of the mini-library is just the start of many other initiatives to come on stream

He encouraged the residents of Bunker's Hill to continue to work with the police, so that a safe environment can be created.

“We endeavour to win back the community, as crime and violence cripples the activities within the community. The police are willing to work with community members, so this partnership is the beginning of many,” he said.

The mini library is collaboration between former residents of Bunker's Hill, and Keith Douglas and the Trelawny Police Division.

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