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Security minister has to clear the air Options
Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:02:37 AM

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Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds has sought to assure Jamaicans that "we are not losing the fight against criminals".

Hinds' comments come as police statistics indicate that nearly one-third of all police divisions islandwide reported more than a 25 per cent increase in murders between January and September.

The police data indicate that 11 of the 19 police divisions nationwide reported some level of increase in murders.

But in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Hinds said, "While in some areas we see a small increase, there are other areas in which we are seeing a reduction.

"So if you take it in totality, we are seeing a reduction of almost seven per cent in terms of violent crimes, albeit in two categories [of serious crimes], we are seeing a small increase," he added.

Police figures show that there has been 856 reported murders since January 1, an increase of five per cent when compared to the 817 reported for the corresponding period last year.

It also showed that while shootings were up four per cent, robberies were down three per cent; break-ins declined 26 per cent; rapes decreased by 19 per cent; and aggravated assaults fell by 20 per cent.

Hinds, who is in charge of operations, disclosed that the Jamaica Constabulary Force is now conducting assessments in the "areas where we are having a challenge … and our response will be guided by [what] the analysis shows us".

The deputy commissioner declined to discuss the measures that are being contemplated by the Police High Command, but made it clear they will be "appropriate as the needs demand".

The St Andrew North Division, which spans several volatile communities, recorded a 43 per cent drop in murders, the largest of any division.

St Ann was next with a 33 per cent decline, followed by Manchester and Hanover, each reporting a 15 per cent decrease.

Meanwhile, the largest increase in murders was reported in Trelawny, which saw a 150 per cent spike - from eight homicides to 20 - when compared to the corresponding period of January 1 to September 21 last year.

St Mary was next with a 86 per cent increase in murders, followed by the Kingston Central Division, with a 71 per cent spike; Clarendon, 67 per cent; Kingston West, 45 per cent; and Portland, 33 per cent.

The statistics also showed that murders were up between three and five per cent in St Elizabeth, St Thomas, Westmoreland, St Catherine North, and St Catherine South.
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:54:12 AM

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Cash for Guns or Arms for Guns.

Dear Fellow Jamaicans,

I respectfully call upon all to join me in petitioning the government for more stricter and harsher penalties for those who are caught with an illegal gun or use a gun in committing a crime.

Prior to the passing of these stricter laws and punishment,we ask that our leaders offer or extend a 3 months gun buyback amnesty with no questions asked, except for, do you have another gun that you would like to surrender/sell?

After this three months amnesty expires, all who are caught with a gun or use a gun in committing a crime should have both arms severed/chopped off.

All who in support of this and are willing to let your voice be heard are kindly asked to register at: arms.casuevox.com

This and this only will be able to deter these criminal who are on the streets bragging and boasting about the many innocent men, women and children killed by them.

Please visit: arms.causevox.com

Your kind support will enables us to raise enough funds in order to start this Islandwide gun buy back program.

Yours Truly

Concerned Jamaican!
Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013 7:09:53 AM

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As crime inches up, Police High Command launches ‘Operation Resilience’

6:05 pm, Thu October 17, 2013

Police Commissioner Owen Ellington

Police Commissioner Owen Ellington has revealed that the incidence of crime in Jamaica is up six per cent over last year.

SpeakingThursday at a press briefing in Kingston, Commissioner Ellington said, up to Sunday, the country had recorded 924 murders, compared to 869 recorded over the similar period last year.

In response to this development, Commissioner Ellington said the High Command has launched a major anti-crime crack down code named "Operation Resilience" which is targeting criminal gangs across the country. He said Operation Resilience was launched in West Kingston in response to the spike in gang violence which has claimed the lives of many persons in that community.

“Since the launch of this operation we are pleased to say we have not had one murder or shooting in the area. We have managed to detain a significant number of individuals we are certain are the ones behind the violence. We have arrested some of them with evidence. Unfortunately some of them who challenged the police with gun fire have met their demise. We are certain that the individuals that our intelligence tell us are behind the violence; they are the right individuals because their absence from the street and the disruption of their activities have resulted in a very sharp and sustained reduction in criminal violence,” said Commissioner Ellington.

He said the police intend to continue pursuing these individuals in the hope of preparing strong enough cases through an investigative initiative to keep some of them behind bars.

The Police Commissioner also announced that the cops are now considering applying for injunctions to bar suspects from returning to West Kingston.

The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party and other groups have been critical of the government's handling of the rising crime rate.
Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 11:54:06 AM

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Government and Opposition find common ground - Bunting/Chuck agree on need for tough crime-fighting measures

Published: Sunday | November 3, 2013 0 Comments

NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Peter Bunting says some major stakeholders in the society appear to be more enthused to criticise tough anti-crime bills than to support social intervention programmes.

"I am disappointed that in our effort to engage wider society around those social interventions and to engage NGOs, the private sector and the church, there has not been the same enthusiasm to participate and get involved as there seems to be to criticise the anti-gang bill and other pieces of legislation," declared Bunting last week.

His comments were made after the Norman Manley Law School made a submission to the Joint Select Committee of Parliament, which is considering the anti-gang bill.

The law school stopped just short of describing the bill as unnecessary and called for the Government to create opportunities and training for the nation's youths.

Nancy Anderson, who presented on behalf of the law school, told the committee that suppression strategies should be the avenues of last resort in dealing with gangs and criminal organisations.

"While many may feel that the bill is necessary, it is hoped that the other avenues to deal effectively with organised criminal organisations are also instituted with similar prominence," Anderson said.

But Delroy Chuck, the opposition spokesman on national security and justice, said Jamaicans should perish the thought that social intervention programmes are enough to cure the country of criminality.

"It nuh work," said Chuck.

"I have heard it from persons who believe that the problem of crime is a social one and if you put in enough social reform and enough social intervention you can curb the crime problem. It nuh work," added Chuck.

Social intervention needed

The opposition spokesman agreed with committee chairman Bunting that the approach to crime fighting has to be a multi-dimensional one.

Said Chuck: "I am not saying social intervention should not be done; it must be done."

"But at the same time, we can send a strong signal, especially to the area dons, that if they try to recruit members into gang warfare we are going to lock you up.

"And send a message to sisters and mothers and girlfriends that if you don't keep your young men out of gangs, you will have to visit them in prisons rather than at their homes then we are not going to solve some of the major conflicts in the inner-city communities."

Meanwhile, Bunting said the anti-gang bill is not to be seen as the principal type of crime-fighting intervention.

He said the bill is one aspect of crime control.

According to Bunting, it is the policy of the Government to focus on crime prevention, a major component of which is social intervention.

"We are not at any odds with yourself or any other groups that have made submissions that for sustainable success in the medium term, those (social intervention strategies) are critically important," the national security minister said.

- D.L.
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:46:25 AM

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Security minister has to clear the air

A Gleaner story which stated the Commissioner Ellington was removed from his post because overseas funders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) had become disillusioned with his leadership in stemming extrajudicial killings is not holding up much water with the man at street level.

"Look how long police a kill man an' a plant gun pon dem an' a seh shoot-out," said one man to me recently. "Den a dat mek dem tek wey him visa?"

I told him that there was no hard confirmation on Ellington losing his visa, and also that maybe the overseas funders who pump significant sums in assisting the JCF had become fed up. "Maybe they needed to send a message to Ellington, but mainly to any other commissioner who came along," I said.

"No sah. Mi nuh believe dat. A something happen sudden or a something whey man an man a check pon from a longer time back," he said in response.

People's National Party (PNP) administrations tend to do a much better job of shrouding controversial developments than Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) governments because it is the nature of the PNP to be more united in attempting to secure its credibility and next win at the polls. In similar situations, the JLP tends to rip itself apart at the seams.

Security Minister Peter Bunting now needs more than divine intervention to get the Ellington removal story painted in a credible light. The rumours are flying every which way and many of them are unflattering. What is obvious is that the initial reasons given by Ellington -- maybe scripted in tandem with the security ministry -- have not 'taken' and cannot hold. The other reason, that Ellington has failed in controlling extrajudicial killings, seems to have been vetted by an embassy in Jamaica.

That, too, has not gripped the public as being credible. One woman on Thursday said to me, "If a di police killing, why the US no ask fah Mr Bunting fi leave fi him post? Why dem nuh tek weh fi him visa? Watch yah. Dem a hide something but dem can't fool wi too long."

Minister Bunting needs to go back to his office and consult with his best scriptwriters. And they need to secure the movie rights to the final production.

With the rumours that more visas are to be revoked, the times are reminiscent of the Dudus saga when visas were indeed revoked. The Americans are very much aware how much we treasure that precious document, whether one is minister of government or fledgling gunman.

I expect that either this weekend or early next week it will all come out in the wash.
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