Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Crime driven by social ills, says acting commish

Published:Friday | February 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson/Staff Reporter
Minister of National Security Robert Montague (left) in deep discussion with acting police commissioner Clifford Blake (center) and Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, former police commissioner, at a special Gleaner forum on crime and security at the newspaper’s Kingston offices yesterday.

Acting Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake has said that the Jamaica Constabulary Force was in the process of creating an anti-crime plan but that such an initiative would not work if the country's social ills are not addressed.

"We are currently developing our 2018 to 2021 Corporate Crime Plan," said Blake yesterday, noting, after being pressed for an operation strategy following a bloody 2017, that the police often unfairly bear the brunt of the blame for the island's runaway crime wave.

He was speaking at The Gleaner's Jamaica Under Labour Stakeholder Forum at the company's North Street offices yesterday, which sought to take a critical look at the state of crime under the current Jamaica Labour Party administration.

"There is a perception that because it is crime, it is the police force that has failed. But the minister (National Security Minister Robert Montague) has so succinctly said it, that when a young man decides to commit crime, it did not start when he decided to pull the trigger," said Blake, pointing to issues of poor parenting and broken homes as pull factors into crime and violence.




Blake could not give a timeline for the anti-crime plan but said that it should be out in the coming months.

In the meantime, Montague has shrugged off criticism that after two years, the Government has failed to come up with a comprehensive anti-crime plan as to the way forward.

"This crime plan is an operational document by the police, not by the policymakers. That is the police's responsibility. The society calls the Government to say 'put the policies in place and do not interfere in operations.' So how then [are] you going to turn around and ask the Government to give you an operational plan? Let us make up our minds," he argued, noting differences between a five-pillar anti-crime strategy being embarked on by his ministry and the police's anti-crime plan.