Church to help fight crime in Clarendon
Amid a sharp rise in murder in the Clarendon Police Division, where 59 persons have already been killed, the police have started a replication of the faith-based programme 'Operation Hope' to help stop the bloodshed.
Commander of the Clarendon division Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey disclosed that just before being assigned to the St Andrew Central Division, murders went up astronomically, however, the use of a similar initiative in that division helped to bring the situation under control.
Bailey said that the faith-based programme, which was launched last Sunday, is a tested, tried, and proven programme that can be a game-changer for Clarendon.
ASTONISHING MURDER RATE
"In 2013, when I went to the St Andrew Central Police Division, the murder rate was simply astonishing, with some 78 reported cases of murders. Place like Nannyville was a headache. However, after initiating Operation Hope in the division, the murder rate plummet from 78 to a low of 37 by 2014," Bailey said.
"I strongly believe that with the support of the Church and the business community, this initiative can work here in Clarendon as it did in St Andrew Central."
Internationally acclaimed evangelist Errol 'Dee' Rattray, who heads the Errol Rattray International Evangelist Association and whose organisation is partnering with the Clarendon Police Division, says that if all hands are on deck, the initiative can be successfully replicated in Clarendon.
According to the evangelist, the one-month initiative, which will be held from today to June 29, with a price tag of $3.6 million, will target troubled communities through prayers and other secular community-engagement initiatives. He added that it is a partnership with the police, the Church, and other business stakeholders in the parish.
Bailey also noted that within Clarendon, there are eight main crime-producing centres in the division, namely Farm/Effortville, Bucknor/Bucks Common, Freetown, Sandy Bay, Content/York Town, Rocky Point, and Hayes. But according to the SSP, only 27 per cent of the division's crimes are committed in the major crime centres.
"This is the paradox we face here in Clarendon. Of all the crimes committed here, only 27 per cent are committed in the division's hot spots. The hot spots are comprehensively policed," he said.