Crime plan must be more than just talk - JMA boss
It cannot be talk alone. That is how Metry Seaga, president of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association, is responding to Acting Police Commissioner Novelette Grant's mandate for tackling crime during her 90-day tenure, which commenced on January 6.
He expressed his agreement with many of the points mentioned by Grant but suggested that she needs to ensure that her plan is comprehensive and properly executed.
Grant announced her crime-fighting formula at a press conference yesterday at the Office of the Police Commissioner on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.
She discussed strategies that will be applied in a number of areas needing urgent fixing within the force to include officers' discipline; their lack of courage; better deployment of assets especially in high crime areas; strategies to dismantle gangs; and improving the community and safety branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to complement operational and investigative functions.
Narcotics, also, will be a major focus, as the police attempt to reduce the level of funding available to gangs.
"I am happy that she has come to the country with a plan. I am not sure it is a comprehensive enough plan at this point, but I am more than willing to give her the opportunity to succeed based on what she has put to the nation.
"Talking about the plans won't get her to become commissioner and won't keep her in the job. Implementing will," he told The Gleaner.
Grant declared that she would not be giving a pass to anyone in the force, encouraging officers to do the right thing. It is a position with which Seaga agrees, stressing that she must lead by example.
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"(Community safety and security are) very important. We need to change the mindset from the youngest ages. I think the commissioner is saying all the right things, (however) we need to ensure that they are implemented now. The police force has got to win back the hearts and minds of the people of the country," Seaga said.
Horace Levy of the Peace Management Initiative told The Gleaner that Grant's suggestion for special focus to be put on community-based policing to complement operational functions was very sensible.
Grant's priorities to be implemented
- Motivation employee.
- Increase performance/output and disciplinary accountability.
- Increase focus on violence reduction - strategic and focused deployment of assets, especially in high crime divisions.
- Renew focus on maintaining public order - ensure compliance from citizens, and that the police enforce the law, without favour.
- Re-energise Operation Tidal Wave and other special activities carried out with support of specialist formations and the JDF.
- Increase the visibility of the Community Safety and Security Branch with special focus on gender-based and domestic violence, youth violence, and community conflict management. Intensify work in western Jamaica.
- Praedial larceny prevention to be ramped up.
- Revive the Get the Guns campaign, with public support
- Increase narcotics operations.
- Counter gang activities and disrupt prolific offenders.