Security Minister shares crime fighting strategy
Over 1,000 Jamaicans from all across the island came out to the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen Security Forum held at the Montego Bay Convention Center in St. James yesterday.
The forum was the Ministry’s initiative to garner citizen support for the fight against crime and further emphasise the fact that Jamaicans have to do their part to make the country safer and more prosperous.
In his opening remarks, Minister of National Security, Robert Montague said Jamaicans had to do their part to reduce crime.
“We cannot let criminals force us to hide away in our own country. Instead, we need to come together and force them to run away. We are Jamaicans and the last four letters in Jamaican spells 'I can'. So we have to get involved, come together and deal with this problem,” Minister Montague said.
He advised that the Ministry of National Security was investing in intelligent networks to facilitate citizen reporting and were also investing more in technology, with the installation of additional CCTV cameras across the island.
Minister Montague also reminded the gathering that would be re-energizing the Parish Consultative Committees introduced by former Minister of National Security & Justice, K. D. Knight and that he would be inviting retired police officers and licensed firearm holders to join a group of Special District Constables.
The forum also provided the Minister the opportunity to communicate the five pillars for national and citizen security, which is part of his strategy to deal with crime through social development, situational prevention, effective policing, swift and sure justice processes and reducing offending.
Among the panelists who participated in a series of discussions for the day were: Floyd Green, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Enid Ross-Stewart, Superintendent of Police in Charge of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse; Simeon Robinson, Director CSJP.
Conference delegate David Graham, who is a past student at the St. Mary High School, said the forum provided the appropriate outlet for Jamaicans to share their concerns about national security and put forward suggestions. “Security affects us all. It’s our nation, so we the citizens should work towards making it the safe place we want it to be.”
Denise Francis from Portland said she was pleased with the Ministry of National Security’s initiative. However, she felt that one day was not enough. “Because of the number of points that such a large delegation would wish to air and the recommendations each person wanted to put forward I think this forum should have run over a number of days.”
Additionally, a number of persons said they left with a sense of hope that the Minister would begin rebuilding the level of communication necessary between police officers and members of the community and that he would put measures in place to address the concerns and act on the myriad of recommendations that came from the floor.