Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Security Minister highlights JDFs Role in Crime Reduction

Published:Saturday | January 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Members of the security forces step up their presence on St Johns Road in Rockfort, east Kingston after three people were shot dead and five injured at a bar in a drive by shooting in October. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

The Minister of National Security, the Honourable Peter Bunting has pointed out the significant role of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in its joint operations with the police during 2014 to achieve the 16% reduction in serious and violent crimes, in keeping with their mandate to maintain law and order in Jamaica.

JDFs support of the JCF involves delivering critical operational capabilities that include helicopter support (for surveillance and the operational movement of personnel); military intelligence; planning, as well as command and control systems; information management; and, most critically, the resilience of their soldiers.

"Since November 2014, the security forces were involved in what they term surge operations island wide, aimed at keeping Jamaicans safe and secure during the festive season. These surge operations played a significant role in achieving the lowest murder total in more than a decade," noted Minister Bunting.

JDF soldiers were deployed shoulder to shoulder with their JCF counterparts during the surge, which doubled the number of operational activities undertaken over the period. These operations contributed to a 49% decrease in murders, shootings and robberies over the corresponding period in 2013. JDF helicopters also flew for more than 72 (flying) hours in support of the surge. This relentless JDF effort came at the expense of their normal operations, training, and mandatory leave programme. Soldiers sacrificed time with their own families and loved ones during the festive season in order to support our crime reduction goals, added the Minister.

Another busy year

Bunting also noted that 2014 was another busy year for the JDF in their other mandated roles, with several major Search and Rescue cases (most notably the unresponsive aircraft that crashed offshore near Port Antonio), a multitude of ceremonial duties which included a state funeral, their ongoing youth and vulnerable communities assistance programmes, most notably to the CSJP, and the work of the Engineer Regiment in nation-building efforts.

"I am equally proud of the JDF, and wish for every member to know that their efforts have been noted, and are appreciated by the nation. Best wishes to all of them and their families for the new year, and let us collectively use these achievements as a catalyst to make even greater inroads to Jamaicas crime challenge," said the minister.