Thu | Sep 21, 2017

CIAN looking for a solution to crime in parish

Published:Wednesday | February 15, 2017 | 2:11 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Some of the persons who turned up at the Clarendon Inter Agency Network workshop last Wednesday.

The spiralling crime problem and the negative effects it has on the parish of Clarendon was the hot topic at this month's sitting of the Clarendon Inter-Agency Network (CIAN) as the members tried collectively to come up with a solution to deal with the scourge.

The meeting was held at the St Gabriel's Anglican Church in May Pen last week Wednesday, after the Planning Institute of Jamaica introduced the Community Renewal Programme to CIAN with a mandate for CIAN to prioritise the four communities in the parish that needed the most urgent intervention.

Clarendon's challenge was highlighted during a presentation from Jennifer Jones of the Violence Prevention Alliance. She stated that last year the May Pen Hospital's accident and emergency department had to deal with 1,108 victims of violence of which 652 were males. The parish recorded the third highest number of murders last year, closing out 2016 at 135.

Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) managing director Omar Sweeney shared that Clarendon's problems mirror Jamaica as a whole. He said that data showed that most crimes takes place in the home and so he stressed the importance of focusing on the communities.

"I am pleased that we are able to come together as a group of stakeholders to really look at how we can make our own corner of the world a better place," he said before highlighting the JSIF powered communities of York Town, Canaan Heights and Threadlight.

Several programmes are to be implemented in the communities by JSIF including the removal of zinc fences from the York Town and Canaan Heights, upgrading of the Four Paths and Lionel Town Police Stations as well as improving infrastructure in Threadlight by focusing on the water, sewage and road conditions.

Constable Jason Miller who is attached to the May Pen Police shared that although a lot of crime fighting strategies have been implemented by the police they have proved inadequate and called for collaborative effort to be applied.

"If it is that an incident is taking place in the town centre where it is very crowded and when the police go on the scene and ask if anybody had seen anything ... I mean, the man literally dead on the stall and nobody see anything. These are some of the challenges that law enforcement officers have in solving crime," Miller said.