Tue | Dec 11, 2018

St James residents blowing up JDF tip hotline

Published:Tuesday | January 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Security forces on the ground in St James, which is now under a public state of emergency.

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Civil Military Cooperation and Media Affairs Officer, Major Basil Jarrett, has touted the army's new tip hotline as an extremely valuable weapon in the war on criminality, with information received so far being very helpful to the operations in St James.

The hotline, which was set up to allow persons to share information with the security forces during the current public state of emergency in St James, has been flooded with calls and WhatsApp messages.

"We have received many, many calls, and we welcome this, because every bit of information, even if it seems incomplete, helps the overall picture," Jarrett said. "Security operations are only as good as the intelligence that drives them, and we cannot achieve success without the assistance and support of persons in the community."

Jarrett said that since being put in place on Thursday, the number has picked up tremendous traction. As a result, the JDF also created a dedicated email address as an additional channel of getting information. The email address is takeback.stjames@jdf.mil.jm and like the hotline, is secure and confidential.

"We wanted to create an easy, convenient, confidential and secure channel for persons to share information about criminals and criminal activity with us. The number and email address are manned and operated by JDF soldiers on a 24/7 basis and there is no need for persons to identify themselves or their location," Jarrett stated.

He said that one way to verify what is being circulated is to check on the official social media platforms setup for the state of emergency, such as twitter.com/TakeBackStJames and facebook.com/TakeBack StJames.

These platforms, according to Jarrett, will reflect authentic and current pieces of information on the ongoing operation.

"The reason why we are using a JDF number is because we want to move as quickly as possible when there are viable tips. Right now, we do not have the luxury of time on our hands. It certainly has nothing to do with the lack of trust for our crime-fighting partners," Jarrett said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com