Security Ministry launches programme to tackle crime, taking multisectoral approach
Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter
The National Security Ministry today launched Unite For Change, a multisectoral approach to tackle crime.
Treating crime as an epidemic National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the programme would first interrupt the transmission of the epidemic through the comprehensive crime control programme, Operation Resilience.
He said 426 operations had been carried out under the initiative, and the security forces were on track to recover 800 guns this year.
To prevent the future spread of the epidemic, Bunting said the Ministry would focus on capacity building within the force, including the addition of resources to the Jamaica Constabulary Force's forensics units and improving the mobility of the force.
He also noted the amendments to several Acts including the Evidence Special Measures Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows for asset forfeiture and puts a limit on cash transactions.
As part of what he called changing the norms of the epidemic, Bunting said under the third installment of the Community Safety and Justice Programme, US$55 million will be allocated over the next four to five years to focus on improved social cohesion and community governance.
He said key elements of this aspect would be a focus on community level justice and dispute resolution.
Other components of the programme include the establishment of a joint technical working group on citizen security and the holding of a national youth violence prevention forum in 2014.
Among the innovative aspects of Unite For Change is a soon-to-be introduced mobile phone app, Stay Alert.
Among the features, the app allows persons to send photos and videos to the police's control centre and there is a panic mode to alert the police in times of crisis.
That feature uses global positioning system technology to aid the police in finding difficult areas.
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