New Crime Plan…

A sev­en-point anti-crime plan — with heavy empha­sis on intel­li­gence, foren­sics, cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and anti-cor­rup­tion, which will bring togeth­er the best minds to tack­le Jamaica’s most debil­i­tat­ing prob­lem — was on Thursday pre­sent­ed by Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson, along with mem­bers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) High Command, dur­ing a Gleaner Editors’ Forum.
Though the Government has been hound­ed for an effec­tive strat­e­gy for fight­ing crime since tak­ing office in 2016, Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the police Corporate Communications Unit, said a bud­getary increase pred­i­cat­ed on the anti-crime strate­gies was includ­ed in this year’s esti­mates of expen­di­ture.
The plan will see an over­haul of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), which spe­cial­izes in secu­ri­ty intel­li­gence and col­lab­o­rates with local and inter­na­tion­al law-enforce­ment agen­cies. The NIB also pro­vides intel­li­gence to the offi­cer corps and oper­a­tional units and was itself an over­haul of the JCF Special Branch.
Anderson, who has been in the post for over a year, out­lined a care­ful plan of action, to be done in three-month phas­es, but all run­ning con­cur­rent­ly.
The strat­e­gy includes mir­ror image rec­om­men­da­tions of the Strategic Review done in 2008, which pro­posed, inter alia, a road map for tack­ling cor­rup­tion, inter­nal and exter­nal account­abil­i­ty, a more effec­tive lead­er­ship and man­age­ment arrange­ment, to include improve­ment to inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and a sig­nif­i­cant upgrade to the phys­i­cal struc­tures used by the JCF. The wel­fare of the men and women who ‘serve and pro­tect’ will also receive an added boost, which will now be han­dled by com­mand cen­tral com­ple­ment­ing the role of the Police Federation.

The pro­posed nation­al secu­ri­ty tac­tic is anchored on sev­en pillars.“They are crime reduc­tion and con­trol; improv­ing pub­lic safe­ty and cit­i­zen secu­ri­ty; orga­ni­za­tion­al restruc­tur­ing and capac­i­ty build­ing; enhanc­ing staff wel­fare; enhanc­ing pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards; effi­cien­cy through tech­nol­o­gy; and com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pub­lic engage­ment,” the com­mis­sion­er told the team of edi­tors and jour­nal­ists at The Gleaner’s North Street, Kingston office.
This was just days after police sta­tis­tics revealed that there was an increase in mur­ders, which threat­ens gains made with the intro­duc­tion of the state of emer­gency in three high-crime west­ern parish­es, and the con­tin­u­a­tion of zones of spe­cial oper­a­tions in two trou­bled com­mu­ni­ties.
“Our aim is to make Jamaica safe. And at the top of that is our con­cern about the num­ber of per­sons who die in Jamaica, which is some­thing that we real­ly need to get a han­dle on and deal with. For us as the police force, what we see as a sta­tis­tic of mur­der is very real. Those are real peo­ple who have been killed. We see every­one who is mur­dered in situ. We go to every scene and we are unique in that regard. We are the only ones who do that,” he not­ed.
Anderson said any mur­der was dis­heart­en­ing, hence, a major thrust of the JCF was geared towards reduc­ing that while tack­ling the wider, con­nect­ed issues.


In March 2018, when he assumed the force’s top job, at the fore­front of his mind was the 1,643 per­sons mur­dered the pre­vi­ous year, and that year’s already high fig­ures.
His strate­gies then includ­ed focus­ing on polic­ing the new school year amid a flur­ry of road law­less­ness, which involved train­ing sev­er­al traf­fic cops.
Anderson also took aim at strength­en­ing the inves­tiga­tive arm of the force — then under the direc­tor­ship of Deputy Commissioner Selvin Hay — with a seri­ous push towards dis­man­tling gangs, which includ­ed inves­ti­ga­tions and pros­e­cu­tions of mem­bers.
One such is the mul­ti­ple-mem­ber Uchence Wilson Gang, which is cur­rent­ly before the courts and whose mem­bers are being pros­e­cut­ed under the Anti-Gang Legislation.

This year saw him tar­get­ing the inspec­torate of the con­stab­u­lary, with the rede­vel­op­ment of the JCF’s inter­nal anti-cor­rup­tion capa­bil­i­ty, which became the remit of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).“MOCA is obvi­ous­ly look­ing at big issues of cor­rup­tion across gov­ern­ment, and so to look at our own issues inter­nal­ly, it is crit­i­cal that we have our own capa­bil­i­ties. DCP Hay is in the process of devel­op­ing and build­ing that capa­bil­i­ty,” the com­mis­sion­er said.

Internal admin­is­tra­tive process­es and the wel­fare of the men and women under his com­mand are now Anderson’s focus. Jamaica-Eye — the Government’s much-tout­ed CCTV cam­eras crime reduc­tion tool, using eyes instead of boots — is cur­rent­ly being opti­mized and improve­ments are under­way for a work­ing roll-out by September. Much of the hard­ware will be replaced, many of which are out­dat­ed.
“How we use foren­sics, cyber foren­sics, DNA, bal­lis­tics, fin­ger­print, and relat­ed foren­sics are crit­i­cal. Last year, we took 5,457 crime-scene exhibits for DNA analy­sis; we also test­ed 9,275 indi­vid­ual sam­ples. In terms of dig­i­tal devices and data, through cyber foren­sics, we processed 3,395 devices, and this year we have done approx­i­mate­ly 1,500,” Anderson stat­ed. At least 1,037 bal­lis­tic sam­ples from crime scenes were done last year, some of which have helped to solve cold cas­es. Arrests as a result of transna­tion­al inves­ti­ga­tions have also been made.DCP Hay and Assistant Commissioner Kevin Blake are cur­rent­ly work­ing on estab­lish­ing effec­tive plat­forms for the pub­lic to com­mu­ni­cate with the con­stab­u­lary. The top brass is all in agree­ment with the JCF’s guid­ing prin­ci­ples. “The first is the rule of law, the sec­ond is respect for all, and third is that we are a force for good,” stat­ed the top cop.

Mister Prime Minister, Please Admit That Your Way Has Failed For The Good Of The Country, Sir.…..

Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness

Let’s all take a step back and admit that inso­far as crime is con­cerned this Jamaican Government, like the one before, has played its hand and lost.
Can we at least be hon­est with our­selves that declar­ing States of Emergencies and installing Zones Of Special Operations are only serv­ing to dis­perse and dis­trib­ute crim­i­nals to oth­er areas, away from those des­ig­nat­ed zones?


So the Prime Minister has just returned to the Island from a CARICOM con­fer­ence, he announced that a State Of Emergency has been declared in the Saint Andrew South Police Area. For those of you not famil­iar with the geog­ra­phy of the Kingston Metropolitan area, that is in the area called the Hunt’s Bay Police divi­sion.

State of Public Emergency has been declared in the St. Andrew South Police Division

A State of Public Emergency has been declared in the St. Andrew South Police Division. The Government remains com­mit­ted to strate­gi­cal­ly address­ing issues relat­ing to safe­ty and secu­ri­ty in our com­mu­ni­ties and across the coun­try. I ask all Jamaicans to report what you know about dons, drugs and guns to help make Jamaica a safer space.

Posted by Andrew Holness on Sunday, July 7, 2019

At the same time, there are hot spots spring­ing up all across the Island. Clarendon is out of con­trol as gang­sters run the place in that parish so to speak. Elsewhere in the cor­po­rate area, crime has gone up in most police divi­sions wip­ing out the reduc­tions expe­ri­enced in 2018.
Even in Manchester, a Parish not exact­ly know for uncon­trol­lable crime, things have seem­ing­ly got­ten out of hand. We made some inquiries as to what could have caused the crime spike in that parish?
We want­ed to under­stand why Manchester which saw a 31% reduc­tion in mur­ders last year is expe­ri­enc­ing a 100% increase in mur­ders?
We learned that the Commanding offi­cer for that Parish, hands-on Superintendent Wayne Cameron has been away from that com­mand for the past six months and all hell seemed to have bro­ken loose.
A lit­tle bird has informed us that the Superintendent may be back at the helm of that divi­sion so hope­ful­ly, things will sta­bi­lize in that parish soon­er than lat­er.

In Clarendon two mem­bers of the JDF have been gunned down in the space of 15 days the lat­ter was killed this morn­ing after a par­ty in the Clarendon Park area of the parish.
Dead is Private Paul Lindsay oth­er­wise called Gary who was shot rough­ly eight times by an assailant who report­ed­ly emerged from near­by bush­es and opened fire on Lindsay who had just con­clud­ed a round-robin par­ty.
On June 22nd Private Garfield Williams was gunned down along ceme­tery road in Denbigh, in the same parish.


Whether there is a sys­temic cam­paign of ter­ror against mem­bers of the JDF is still unclear, as two deaths do not estab­lish a full pat­tern. At the same time, there has been a steady increase in vio­lence in the parish, which has prompt­ed some to call for the removal of that com­mand­ing offi­cer Mrs. Cameron-Powell.
In fair­ness to Mrs. Cameron Powell and any oth­er com­man­der who would tack­le that divi­sion the strate­gies need­ed to bring crime to a screech­ing halt will not be tol­er­at­ed by this Prime Minister his cabal of crim­i­nal rights lob­by or the coun­try in gen­er­al.

Just today I saw a post made by the Prime Minister, in it, he asked cit­i­zens to report inci­dents of crime to the author­i­ties. He had the JDF tip line ahead of the nation’s police tip line.
To some peo­ple, this may be incon­se­quen­tial, not to me. Since he came to office he has demon­strat­ed that he doesn’t care too much about the police, and as we have seen he even made a for­mer head of the JDF the police com­mis­sion­er.
Again, this may not seem like much to the aver­age non-skep­tic, but, to me, he has vir­tu­al­ly made the JDF his police depart­ment of choice.

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There is only one law enforce­ment agency in the coun­try that agency is the JCF

Now here is the kick­er, not only has he made the JDF the new police force, but the so-called awe and love that pre­vi­ous­ly exist­ed for the mil­i­tary because its mem­bers were not as exposed as the mem­bers of the JCF are, and they weren’t out there arrest­ing peo­ple, is now gone and the guns are turn­ing on them.
I warned that that would occur, giv­en time and his pen­chant for push­ing the JDF as a pseu­do-police force.


The for­mer gov­ern­ment of the PNP did not have a clue how to end the crime scourge plagu­ing our coun­try. The for­mer Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, a man now locked in a strug­gle for the lead­er­ship of the par­ty, once said that the coun­try need­ed divine inter­ven­tion to deal with crime.
As Minister with respon­si­bil­i­ty for crime Bunting’s state­ment was shock­ing and trans­par­ent­ly clear that the par­ty and admin­is­tra­tion were bereft of ideas and need­ed to be put out to pas­ture.
Win or lose Peter Bunting and the PNP are still in the dark as to solu­tions for this cri­sis.


Jamaica got rid of hang­ing to suit great Britain and for what? Britain does not have heav­i­ly armed gun­men roam­ing their streets killing whomev­er they wish.
In Jamaica, there is a bat­tery of crim­i­nal rights advo­cates oper­at­ing as human rights activists, many of them with bases in Washington DC.
Additionally, Jamaica has cast aside its hard­core police offi­cers in search of a [Utopian]sic cour­tesy corps to sat­is­fy the Leahy amend­ment.
See Act here: https://​fas​.org/​s​g​p​/​c​r​s​/​r​o​w​/​R​4​3​3​6​1​.​pdf .
In addi­tion to that, they cre­at­ed INDECOM and oth­er lay­ers of over­sight of the JCF rather than spend those resources upgrad­ing and equip­ping the JCF.
This has result­ed in mass attri­tion from the force. In the process of try­ing to stem the mass exo­dus, back­ground checks have suf­fered and so the image of the force con­tin­ues to suf­fer.
Ironically, as it relates to the Leahy amend­ment, the help Jamaica would receive from the US for it’s con­for­mi­ty to the dic­tates of that act is so mar­gin­al it was not worth it.


According to the ACLU, the US has not rat­i­fied any inter­na­tion­al human rights treaties since December 2002, when it rat­i­fied two option­al pro­to­cols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since that time, impor­tant new treaties have been adopt­ed and oth­er long-stand­ing treaties have gained new mem­ber states. Unfortunately, the US has too often remained out­side these efforts. For exam­ple, the US is the only coun­try oth­er than Somalia that has not rat­i­fied the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most wide­ly and rapid­ly rat­i­fied human rights treaty in his­to­ry. It is one of only sev­en coun­tries-togeth­er with Iran, Nauru, Palau, Somalia, Sudan, and Tonga- that has failed to rat­i­fy the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Simply put, the US does not allow any­thing to get in the way of uphold­ing its laws.

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Jamaican police Detective cor­po­ral, a busi­ness own­er, avid researcher, and blog­ger. 
He is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog chatt​-​a​-box​.com. 
He also writes occa­sion­al­ly for the web­site Medium​.com.
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