Cops move into com­mu­ni­ties to stem do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - NEWS - BY HORACE HINES Observer staff re­porter hi­[email protected]­maicaob­

FLORENCE HALL, Trelawny — Fol­low­ing last year’s re­duc­tion in mur­ders over the pre­vi­ous year, head of the con­stab­u­lary’s Com­mu­nity Safety and Se­cu­rity Branch (CSSB), As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Steve Mc­gre­gor, says his team will be spearheading the charge to fur­ther lower the mur­der tally this year.

Not­ing that do­mes­tic dis­putes trig­gered the lion’s share of the 1,287 mur­ders recorded last year, which was 329 fewer than the 1,616 recorded at the end of 2017, the se­nior cop said the CSSB team will be bom­bard­ing com­mu­ni­ties to nip con­flicts in the bud.

“The com­mu­nity safety and se­cu­rity arm of the JCF (Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force) will be the front-run­ner in the thrust that we will be putting in place to man­age crime and vi­o­lence in our coun­try this year. We have re­alised that the ma­jor­ity of the mur­ders that we get in Ja­maica has gen­e­sis within the com­mu­ni­ties. We have cut down on vi­o­lent crime, or­gan­ised crime, but we are get­ting the do­mes­tic-re­lated crimes. And these crimes can only be cut where they start, if we go closer to the com­mu­ni­ties, which is what we are do­ing,” ACP Mc­gre­gor said.

“The zones of spe­cial op­er­a­tions and the state of pub­lic emer­gency

have given us that calm and tran­quil­lity within the parishes, so it is for our com­mu­nity safety of­fi­cers to go in now and em­power the com­mu­ni­ties to en­sure that they work along­side the po­lice, to po­lice what is hap­pen­ing in our coun­try, so there is hope,” he con­tin­ued.

The ACP was speak­ing at the Stone­brook Vista re­turn­ing res­i­dents’ meet­ing in Trelawny yes­ter­day.

ACP Mc­gre­gor moved to al­lay fear among the re­turnees in the wake of re­cent re­ports of vi­o­lence per­pe­trated against some of their col­leagues in sec­tions of the coun­try, point­ing out that there is no ev­i­dence of any con­certed plot to tar­get that group, but noted that “we have a rel­a­tively vi­o­lent so­ci­ety in Ja­maica right now”.

“I want to tell you that, from all in­ves­ti­ga­tions and re­search that we have done, there is no or­gan­ised or any con­cen­trated at­tacks on our re­turn­ing res­i­dents right now in Ja­maica. There is noth­ing like that hap­pen­ing,” Mc­gre­gor in­sisted.

In the mean­time, Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice Win­ston Mil­ton, act­ing com­man­der of the Trelawny Divi­sion, as­sured mem­bers of the Trelawny re­turn­ing res­i­dents’ group that there has been lit­tle or no re­port of vi­o­lent in­frac­tions against them in the par­ish.

“Trelawny isn’t one of those parishes that has been sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacted in terms of the crimes be­ing per­pe­trated against re­turn­ing res­i­dents, par­tic­u­larly vi­o­lent crimes,” DSP Mil­ton said.

“You couldn’t choose a bet­ter place to be than the par­ish of Trelawny. Right now, as we speak, Trelawny is one of the safest parishes in Ja­maica for you to live,” he said.

MC­GRE­GOR... it is for our com­mu­nity safety of­fi­cers to go in now and em­power the com­mu­ni­ties to en­sure that they work along­side the po­lice

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