Mon | Dec 11, 2023

DCP Bailey gives police top marks for 2022

Published:Friday | March 31, 2023 | 12:11 AMMark Titus/Gleaner Writer
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey

Western Bureau:

Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey has given the police an A grade for their performance last year, despite a staggering 1,498 murders recorded for the period – a tally which has tagged Jamaica as one of the countries with the highest murder rates in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“When I look at the performance of the JCF generally in 2022, I consider it excellent,” said Bailey, in his address to guests at an appreciation banquet in Savanna-la-mar for police officers in the Westmoreland Division last Saturday.

“I am told by research that over 42.3 per cent of all prisoners commit another offence while they are out, so [almost] one in every two persons are considered repeat offenders.”

According to DCP Bailey, the police were very successful in arresting persons implicated in murders, arresting and charging some 726 persons during the year.

“That is unprecedented, and if you do your research and look at even some of the First-World countries, you don’t see that level [of success] by the police,” he said.

Beyond this, Bailey said the police were also successful in the war on illegal drugs, intercepting shipments and confiscating large sums of money from persons implicated in the illicit trade.

While he offered up no data to support the claim, DCP Bailey said, “Significant amounts of drugs were seized last year, and significant recovery of money through the Proceeds of Crime [Act].” said Bailey.

“I believe the JCF and all of you who are here today have the capacity, we have the commitment, and we have the integrity to deal with the crime problem.”

DCP Bailey believes that with greater public support, the police can be even more effective. He called on the public to play its part in helping to break the back of lawlessness.

“No development can take place in a high-crime environment. Every individual, whether you are a student, teacher, a businessperson or even the family members of a police officer, our action or non-action impacts on you.”

While Westmoreland was arguably one of the nation’s bloodiest parish last year, parish commander, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Wayne Josephs, has come in for much praise from stakeholders in the parish for his management of the resources at his disposal.

One of the strategies that have been reaping success for Josephs and his team is the decision to divide the parish into zones, which, he reports, makes it easier to properly structure the use of the resources in the parish.

The parish has been zoned as follows: Zone One – Savanna La Mar and Whithorn; Zone Two – Frome and Morgan’s Bridge (The Grange Hill area); Zone Three – Darliston and Bethel Town; Zone Four – Negril and Little London; and Zone Five – Whitehouse and Bluefields.

According to police statistics, all major crimes are on the decline in Westmoreland; however, the police remain concerned about the number of robberies committed and the increase in persons who are illegally accessing electricity from the public grid.