Se­na­tor Charles Sin­clair, coun­cil­lor, Flanker divi­sion:

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS -

VET­ERAN HOTE­LIER Godfrey Dyer says poor su­per­vi­sion is one of the key fac­tors which have led to a break­down in the qual­ity of polic­ing in Mon­tego Bay. While ad­dress­ing a re­cent Gleaner Ed­i­tors’ Fo­rum in Mon­tego Bay, Dyer, a for­mer po­lice­man, said the cul­ture of the Jamaica Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF) has changed tremen­dously since he re­tired from the or­gan­i­sa­tion decades ago.

“In my time, one of the most ef­fec­tive polic­ing [strate­gies] was beat pa­trol. And, when I was sent out on the street, I was not just left there for the four hours. I had to work; I was su­per­vised. I would be vis­ited by se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers and I bet­ter be on the alert look­ing out for ev­ery­thing,” said Dyer, who is now chair­man of the Tourism En­hance­ment Fund (TEF).

“I watch the at­ti­tude of uni­form­clad po­lice of­fi­cers down­town and they lean up any­where and do any­thing. They are left there for the four to six hours they are work­ing. [There is] no su­per­vi­sion by se­nior of­fi­cers to en­sure that they are on the alert,” Dyer said.

BET­TER CLEAR-UP RATE

In ad­di­tion, Dyer said dur­ing his time as a po­lice­man, his su­per­vi­sors painstak­ingly en­sured that crim­i­nal cases had an 80 per cent min­i­mum clear-up rate, fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions, in stark con­trast to the cur­rent 20 to 25 per cent rate.

He also high­lighted the need for con­sis­tency in en­force­ment of the law, as well as strate­gic mea­sures to com­bat crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties which has gripped the tourism cap­i­tal and greater St James in re­cent weeks.

De­spite the build­ing of trust through com­mu­nity polic­ing be­ing touted as a method to curb crime, Pas­tor Knol­lis King, founder of the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace, who was also in at­ten­dance at the fo­rum, said this has proved rather dif­fi­cult for res­i­dents due to some of the de­ci­sions made by the Po­lice High Com­mand.

“A soon as the cit­i­zens be­gin to de­velop a level of trust with cer­tain po­lice of­fi­cers, they (High Com­mand) change the of­fi­cers. I am not sat­is­fied with the po­lice-trans­fer pol­icy be­cause if the thing is work­ing, why change it?” lamented King, who is also coun­cil­lor of the Rose Heights divi­sion.

His sen­ti­ments were echoed by coun­cil­lor of the Flanker divi­sion, Charles Sin­clair.

Ac­cord­ing to Sin­clair, there have been about 12 trans­fers of com­mand­ing of­fi­cers in St James over the past 10 years, yet the com­mis­sion of se­ri­ous crimes con­tin­ues to be ram­pant in the par­ish.

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