Funding gaps affecting peace management work in Spanish Town - PMI
The Peace Management Initiative (PMI) says it was forced to suspend some of its violence interruption initiatives in crime-plagued Spanish Town, St Catherine, during a critical period this year after government funding came to a halt.
The PMI receives funding to carry out social intervention activities through the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) under the Ministry of National Security.
However, it says this funding is insufficient and is not moving as quickly as it should through the CSJP.
Deputy Chairman of the PMI, Horace Levy, says there was no funding for April to June this year when reputed gang leader Tesha Miller returned to Jamaica.
The police feared an increase in gang violence following Miller’s release and heightened their presence in and around Spanish Town.
However, Levy says the PMI was forced to scale down activities during that critical period.
The police are now seeking Miller in relation to the recent flare-up of violence in the Spanish Town area.
Levy says the PMI has 25 violence interrupters working in Spanish Town alongside five to 10 counsellors.
He says the funding challenges have resulted in the PMI not being able to go into other areas, such as Clarendon, where crime is also a problem.
Meanwhile, Levy says with the crime flare-up, particularly in western Jamaica, the PMI says if increased financing is going to be used mainly for more police equipment and police posts, the murder cycle will continue and the danger to tourism will not diminish.