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Nesbeth takes aim at St James’ crime problem

Published:Wednesday | June 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry

Western Bureau:

Senior Superintendent of Police Marlon Nesbeth, the newly installed commanding officer for the St James Police Division, has no plans for procrastination and has hit the ground running in his bid to rein in lawlessness in the parish.

Nesbeth, who, on Wednesday, led a major police operation in Rose Heights, which has seen an upsurge in murders in recent weeks, says he wants to assure residents of St James that he plans to make a difference in tackling the parish's spiralling crime problem.

"I know community policing is the way to go. It is what we have been practising, but I dare say, not all of our police officers understand that," said Nesbeth, who has vowed that crime in the parish will be contained under his command.

In fact, while speaking at Tuesday's launch of the USAID/COMET II 2016 Public Service Announcement event at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Nesbeth stated that a number of anti-crime initiatives are on the drawing board and would be rolled out in short order.




In speaking to the partnership he hopes to forge with various communities, Nesbeth said

the divide between some communities and the police will have to be bridged in the quest for effective crime fighting, hence the effort he intends to place on building good police-community relationships.

"We will try to change officers' mindset so that they embrace communities because this, in my mind, will tend to significantly impact the age-old problem we have where people say the police cannot be trusted," said Nesbeth.

"Improving the service delivery of the police is also high on the agenda to bridge this gap."

He added: "It is my intention to bring the police force to the level where you can rely on us, confide in us, and we will respond [in a timely manner] to your call throughout the division to make sure that you are safe."

The commanding officer also stated that he would be seeking to have the police partner with major social groups and organisations to assist with new and existing social-intervention programmes.

Speaking at the same event, Denise Herbol, USAID mission director to Jamaica, noted that despite the years of support the organisation has provided to uplift individuals and communities across the parish over the years, the situation in the parish remains dire.

"We know there is a major concern for having the highest murder toll on the island, and even more troubling is that young people are the main perpetrators as well as victims," said Herbol.

"The US Government is committed to serving and supporting all the stakeholders in this fight against crime."