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Study: More Jamaicans trusting the police

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2013 | 8:00 AM

A UNITED States study is claiming that more Jamaicans are trusting the police and are feeling more secure. The study also revealed that citizens feel that cases of police personnel soliciting bribes have decreased.

The findings are contained in the 2012 AmericasBarometer Survey by Vanderbilt University's Latin American Public Opinion Project, which has been gathering data containing political perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1970s.

The research team included Professor Anthony Harriott and Balford Lewis of the University of the West Indies, Mona.

According to the study, in 2012, Jamaicans scored an average of 28 points on the survey's crime-insecurity measure, which is four points lower than 2010, and 10 points lower than 2006.

The study also said cases of the police soliciting bribes have decreased over time, while just as there have been decreases in how insecure people feel.

BOOST AFTER TIVOLI OPERATION

It noted that Jamaicans' trust in the police increased notably between 2010 and 2012, owing to the police-military operation in west Kingston to capture confessed gangster Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

The research suggests that other factors have fuelled positive attitudes towards the police in Jamaica, including trust in the courts and the judicial system.

The researchers concluded that police reform and related efforts in Jamaica have had significantly positive effects.

They said deepening the reforms in the police and judicial systems in Jamaica would go a far way towards continuing to build bonds of trust between the community and the police and, at the same time, help to decrease violence and increase security.