LaTouche: Im­prove se­cu­rity of all cit­i­zens, not only re­turnees

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Brian.walker@glean­erjm.com

PER­CI­VAL LATOUCHE, pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica As­so­ci­a­tion for the Re­set­tle­ment of Re­turn­ing Res­i­dents, be­lieves that the Govern­ment should not pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to the safety of re­turn­ing res­i­dents.

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade an­nounced on Tues­day that a task force would be es­tab­lished to ad­dress se­cu­rity and safety con­cerns re­lated to re­turn­ing res­i­dents and their holis­tic rein­te­gra­tion into the Ja­maican so­ci­ety.

“We have to be care­ful how we treat with these things. We can’t make peo­ple think that we are seg­re­gat­ing Ja­maicans from re­turn­ing res­i­dents. If you ever make it look like you’re pro­tect­ing re­turn­ing res­i­dents, they will be in more dan­ger than they are in now,” LaTouche told The Gleaner yesterday.

He ac­knowl­edged that at least seven re­turnees have been killed since Jan­uary but in­sisted that the se­cu­rity of all cit­i­zens should be ad­dressed in a com­pre­hen­sive man­ner. LaTouche sug­gested that Cus­toms-re­lated is­sues should take prece­dence.

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade said via a press re­lease that the task force will be chaired by State Min­is­ter Pear­nel Charles Jr and would com­prise re­turn­ing res­i­dents, the min­istry’s Di­as­pora Af­fairs Depart­ment, and the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF).

The min­istry added that the po­lice are de­vel­op­ing stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures to ad­dress the safety of re­turnees.

Ka­rina Pow­ell-Hood, se­nior su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice, ex­plained, “The com­mu­nity safety of­fi­cer is the point of con­tact with re­turn­ing res­i­dents and is sen­si­tised to ad­dress their con­cerns.” She added that the JCF is com­pil­ing a se­cu­rity and safety hand­book for re­turn­ing res­i­dents.

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