You must trust and support the police - SSP Nesbeth
Senior Superinten-dent of Police Marlon Nesbeth, head of the St James Police Division, said residents of crime-plagued St James need to trust the police and give them their support in the ongoing efforts to rein in the spate of lawlessness in the parish.
Speaking at Wednesday's Social Development Commission's monthly inter-agency meeting at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Conference Room, RADA Complex, Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, the top cop bemoaned the fact that residents were seemingly hesitant to provide information they may have on serious crimes.
Noting that the hesitancy might be as a result of a lack of trust that residents have in the police, Nesbeth said the vast majority of the police were persons of integrity.
However, he admitted that there were a few bad members, who were spoiling the image of the police force.
"I want us to dispel that (belief that police are not trustworthy) because I am not saying that we do not have a few bad apples, but let us face it, that's everywhere, and yet other places have better relationships around accessing information and how they manage it," explained Nesbeth.
"I know I can be trusted and I am sure you can be trusted, so why it is that people are saying they don't have anybody to talk to, or give information to? If so, tell it to our pastors, who, I am sure, must be trustworthy. They will find some way to pass it to us," added Nesbeth.
The senior police officer also used the opportunity to call on various government agencies to lobby on behalf of the police by relaying the message to residents whenever there are social interactions.
"We need an all-inclusive approach to bring a positive change to St James's high crime rate," noted Nesbeth, in regards to the parish's horrifying crime situation, which has churned out more than 120 murders since the start of the year.
Nesbeth also highlighted the fact that an additional 300 police officers were to be deployed to the parish to beef up the existing complement. They are also being supported by personnel from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
Major Murphy Pryce, second in command of the First Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment, pointed out that the JDF was working alongside the police in St James as part of an all-out assault against criminal elements.
"Over the past two weeks, our soldiers have been supporting the police to arrest the situation of crime, in particular murders," said Pryce.
"However, beyond supporting the police, the JDF will be doing may other things while we are here," Pryce added.