45th neighbourhood watch launched in Manchester
Residents of Williamsfield Gardens and Heights in Manchester have launched a neighbourhood watch to support the crime-fighting efforts in the parish. This is the 45th watch to be launched in Manchester and the 704th across the island.
In his address at the launch, held on December 12 in Williamsfield Gardens, head of the Community Security and Safety Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Gary Welsh, told the residents that there is economic value to safe communities, and the launch of the neighbourhood watch would have a positive impact.
Congratulating the residents, Welsh said the JCF is mandated to create partnerships with the various communities, who are encouraged to work alongside them to create safe places.
"We the members of the JCF are into partnership-building," he said.
He pointed out that an important factor in fighting crime is community policing.
The ACP noted that during Police Week, which was observed from November 22 to 29, the country recorded the lowest murder rate for a week since the start of the year.
"During that week when we practised community-based policing, we met with residents, we interacted with businessowners, and we played games with residents of various communities. So, I say to the commissioner of police, let us have more of those community activities," he said.
"As we continue to ramp up the crime-fighting efforts at the community level, we know we will be supported by the various neighbourhood watches," Welsh added.
IDENTIFYING SECURITY GAPS
He pointed out that there are initiatives to be pursued by the JCF, including a National Housing Trust-sponsored programme called Train the Trainer, where police officers and citizens will be trained to do security surveys.
Under this programme, persons will be trained to equip themselves with the necessary skills to go into businessplaces, communities and homes and make recommendations where they see security and safety gaps.
"We can help to add value to your security awareness, so we are not only doing it from the police perspective, but we want to do it in partnership with the citizens," ACP Welsh explained.