Tourism Ministry commits $1 Billion to fight crime
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has committed $1 billion over the next four years to fund security initiatives as part of his Ministry’s efforts to support the Ministry of National Security’s drive to tackle crime.
He made the announcement as he addressed the Closing Ceremony for the first batch of graduates under the new District Constables Training Programme, at the National Police College of Jamaica yesterday.
Bartlett in his keynote address, underscored the importance of the partnership between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) in boosting safety and security in the island’s resort areas.
“Today I want to make a new commitment to provide another billion dollars to the Ministry of National Security over the next four years. We have already identified some of the areas that we are going to work with you on and I know you have some areas that you want to put on the front burner. I think in collaboration with TPDCo and the TEF, in the next few weeks we will fine tune the arrangements as it relates to the allocation for specific items,” Minister Bartlett said. "An emphasis on intelligence gathering and the better use of technology as a critical tool to drive greater detection and monitoring is critical in all of this and we will be partial in terms of our allocation to the acquisition of intelligence gathering equipment and boosting our ability to track the criminals, because they are not many.”
To date the ministry through the TEF has invested over $1 billion dollars to support the efforts of the Ministry of National Security in fighting crime, which Minister Bartlett declared was money well spent. The 89 District Constables are to be deployed across prescribed areas and resort towns island wide. Another 11 officers will be added to bring the initial complement to 100 by the end of the year and a total of 250 officers will be trained by 2018.