Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
Lawmen at the Seaview Gardens Police Station have taken on an initiative to forge a better relationship with the citizens in the surrounding communities, including Riverton City.
Sergeant Dalton Leslie, subofficer in charge of the station, said that that in order to do so, the police have been going to schools in the area, having group and business meetings, and visiting the churches in the communities.
Leslie said the police want to ensure that they and the citizens are working together and are not on different sides of the fence.
He is optimistic that if the citizens and the police are working together, there will be a significant reduction in crime.
As part of the initiative, Deputy Superintendent Derrick Richards, from the St Andrew South Division, Sergeant Leslie, and other police personnel from the Seaview Gardens Police Station recently worshipped at the Riverton Meadows Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Richards, in addressing the congregation, said in days gone by, the rural areas were crime free, but that was no longer the situation.
"Everywhere we go, violence rears its ugly head, and not even the babies are safe," Richards said.
He reminded the congregation that there was strength in unity. He pointed out that there were only a few troublemakers who caused people to be locked up in their houses, and it should be the other way around. He called for law-abiding citizens to put pressure on those who were creating mayhem in the society. He stressed that criminals cannot run free while the police and the citizens are at variance. He said instead blocking roads and burning tyres, there should be dialogue.
Richards said Jamaicans are living in the age of technology, and people no longer need to go to police stations to report crimes.
Pastor Holland Thompson, in his sermon, said the trend was that at Christmas time, people showed love, but he emphasised that love should be shown to one another throughout the year.
Thompson said if people loved God and loved one another, then there would be no crime. He made a special appeal for people not to follow the wrong crowd or to get involved in criminality, but to be followers of God.