Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Montaque hails neighbouhood watch programme

Published:Thursday | November 10, 2016 | 11:00 AM

PORT MARIA, St Mary:

Minister of National Security Robert Montague has hailed the national Neighbourhood Watch programme as the most crucial component of the Government's plan to reduce crime and violence.

Speaking at the organisation's annual general meeting, held in Port Maria, St Mary, last weekend, Montague said the director of safety and security in schools in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Assistant Superintendent of Police Coleridge Minto, had been sent to St James to tackle the correction between the exceptional levels of crime in and the high number of school dropouts in the parish.

He also noted that domestic violence accounts for 37 per cent of the country's murders, and urged patrons to immediately download the Stay Alert mobile phone app, which enables users to send free videos, audio recordings, and messages to the police anonymously.

After the conference, Montague told Rural Xpress: "It's very important for me to be here to reason and share and hear from the members of the neighbourhood watch groups, who are volunteers doing their civic interest, having an interest to protect and safeguard their communities, people who want to see better for their communities.

THE SOCIAL NORMS

"The Neighbourhood Watch movement is the most important element of our crime-fighting strategy. It's all about engagement at the community level because that's where the crime is. This is where the prevention and rehabilitation will come from.

This is where the social norms are taught in the communities, and this is the level where the intelligence will be garnered. The police and government can't do everything, so this is a forum where the volunteers can play their part, reach out and help to build, because we have to start on the ground."

Following the conference, which featured a presentation on volunteering by former Unite for Change director Coral Crew-Noble, Delroy Dobson was elected as the National Neighbourhood Watch Council's new president, while Claudel Robinson and Horace Nelson will serve as first and second vice-presidents respectively.

rural@gleanerjm.com