Sun | Sep 23, 2018

New commish to tackle gun flow

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
DCP Clifford Blake presents a copy of the JCF’s Disciplinary Procedures Handbook to newly installed Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson. Contributed

Newly appointed Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson says that improving morale among members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the deepening of its investigative abilities, among other things, will be critical targets under his leadership.

"The aim really is to improve everything over time. The focus of what we do has to be on the problems that plague us the greatest and which hold everyone's attention - gangs, guns, murders and violence in the commission of crime," Anderson said.

"That has to be our area of focus. The other one, obviously, is maintaining public order in our public spaces," Anderson told The Gleaner yesterday, hours into his new role.

He said the perception that the JCF was rife with corruption and indiscipline, while having some legitimacy, does not tell the full truth, as the 150 year-old organisation was never designed to behave in that manner.

Anderson, the third former military officer to be appointed top cop, is hoping that his leadership makes the difference in how the force is viewed, but added that it will take time to get it done.

"The people of Jamaica can expect leadership. That's all they need to expect. The JCF was never designed as an undisciplined organisation; it's structure, regulations and act say differently. It was designed as a disciplined bloc and, where it falls down, we have to deal with it to get it back on track," he noted.

In addition, he said that the means to produce violent crimes, through the acquisition of an illegal gun, must be removed first, in order for the country to see real declines in that area.

"Obviously, we have to remove the means by which people are being killed. Largely, that's the guns, and that has to do with how we strengthen our borders, how the weapons are being trafficked and how we recover those already here," said Anderson.

"Recovery of weapons has been quite high; it was high last year and they are still quite high. It's just that it's a lot and we need to just stop them from coming in. That's the work we need to do in that regard," said Commissioner Anderson.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com