Thu | May 25, 2017

Police assure residents perception of crime is greater than reality in western Jamaica

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 3:00 AMJanet Silvera

A senior police officer of Area One is urging the public not to be captives within their own homes, noting that the perception of crime is greater than the reality.

Addressing a media briefing at the Social Development Commission office in Albion, St James, last Wednesday, to outline plans to celebrate the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) 150th anniversary, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ainsley McCarthy said while many persons remain fearful and concerned about crime in the division, the streets in western Jamaica are no less safe than anywhere else in the country.

"I know a lot of persons, and justifiably so, have a lot of concerns about the crime situation," McCarthy noted. "I, however, would like everyone to know that it is not a situation where persons are being randomly killed in the west or is it a case where it is no longer safe to walk on the streets," he said.

The senior cop argued that a lot of the crime in western Jamaica involves gangs.

McCarthy told journalists that the majority of persons living in the region are law-abiding citizens who provide for their families through legitimate means.

He noted that in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the JCF, the Area One will be embarking on a number of community-related activities to mark the occasion.

Area One, which comprises the parishes of Hanover, Trelawny, St James, and Westmoreland, will be hosting a free concert in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, on March 25.

"The JCF has been doing, and will continue to do, a number of activities across the island as part of this very important milestone," McCarthy said. "We will be doing our part in Area One in what I like to refer to as the softer side of policing and where we do believe that the communities across the region will come out in their numbers and support."

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com