Sat | Nov 25, 2017

ACP Graham says he will be tough on crime

Published:Tuesday | October 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Donovan Graham

Western Bureau:

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) for the police's Area One, Donovan Graham, says that he will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to police indiscipline as part of his bid to rein in lawlessness in Montego Bay and its environs.

Graham on Thursday made his first public address since being transferred to Area One under a cloud of controversy. Two months ago, he said that some members of the police force were not living up to the standards set by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and when caught in any wrongdoing, he intended to make an example of them.

"There are some in this organisation that continue to tarnish our name, but with the assistance of my management team, I will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to ensure that the police who refuse to fall in line are disciplined," explained Graham. He was giving the main address at Thursday night's Kiwanis Club of Montego Bay's 52nd Installation Ceremony. "Never be afraid to report the unprofessional conduct of the police."

Graham, who served in Area Three before his transfer to the west, maintained that his drive to have the police personnel of Area One in line will no longer give citizens the excuse of being reluctant to share information or partnering with the police out of fear.

"As the assistant commissioner of police of Area One, I want to assure you that I will be strong on performance, accountability, and professionalism. I will ensure that the men and women I lead are held to a high standard," Graham stated.

Tasked with enacting strategies aimed at curbing crime and violence in the complex environment of the Second City and the overall St James parish, alongside Hanover, Westmoreland, and Trelawny, Graham outlined a range of strategies he intends to use.

Key among his strategies will be building better police-community relations and targeting at-risk youth, of which approximately 3,250 have been arrested islandwide for serious crimes between 2015 and September 30 of 2017.

"Of the 3,250 youngsters arrested, 349 have been arrested for murders, while 323 have been arrested for shootings. When I arrived in Area One, I visited the lock-up at Barrett Town, and I was shocked to see three young men with milk still coming from their mouths charged for murder," said Graham. "So there is a need for us all to get involved to help shape our society. We, together, as a society, must develop problem-solving initiatives to address these situations."