Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has emphasised that solving crime is not just the duty of the Ministry and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), but also the responsibility of communities, working in partnership with the Police.
Addressing the quarterly luncheon of the Jamaica All Island Chambers of Commerce, in Clarendon, on August 17, the Minister said with the heavily funded and technologically enhanced modern criminal networks operating, policing methods must also be enhanced.
Dr. Chang outlined some of the steps being taken by the Administration to fight crime.
“At the political level, the Government has allocated one per cent of GDP towards security capital expenditure for the fiscal year 2019/20 – a first in the nation’s history. Our goal is to establish this as floor for security capital expenditure moving forward,” Dr. Chang said.
The Minister told the gathering that the administration is also urgently pursuing the finalisation and subsequent tabling of relevant legislation and regulations in order to strengthen the support to law enforcement, adding that the Government has also heavily invested in upgrading the security architecture and support systems.
“Last week, at the official opening of the newly rebuilt Shady Grove Police Station, we launched Project Rebuild, Overhaul and Construct (ROC). This is in collaboration with the National Housing Trust (NHT) and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), to enhance the performance of the JCF across the island,” Dr. Chang said.
He also said that plans are apace to improve the communications systems, mobility, recruitment and training processes as well as the service equipment provided to officers of the JCF, to make them more prepared to intercept, investigate and apprehend 21st Century criminals.
The Minister noted that the JDF Coastguard has received two new offshore patrol vehicles and one maritime patrol aircraft, adding that the Government will continue to invest in more units to enhance the capabilities of this segment of the security forces, in order to stem the flow of guns and ammunition into the island.
“I am mindful that it will take a little time before we start reaping maximum returns from these investments, but I remain encouraged that with consistency, proper planning and sufficient time, we will reap the benefit and Jamaica will be more secure,” he said.
Dr. Chang encouraged members of the Chambers of Commerce islandwide to become “public safety ambassadors” under the ‘Liv Gud’ initiative to be launched in September. This will see citizens partnering with the police in maintaining public order, especially among the micro and small business enterprises, such as those involved in vending and the transportation sector.
He also urged members to collaborate with the Jamaica Eye Programme by linking their private security camera systems with them, and even getting advice about the right cameras to install, so that footage captured from robberies can be used in the investigation.