JCF targeting crime hotspots during Christmas season, says senior cop

KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says it will be targeting crime hotspots in parishes across the island during the Christmas season.

Head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Gary McKenzie, said that the high command continues to pay keen attention to parishes on its radar.

“We have some parishes…Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, the western parishes – St James, Westmoreland…other parishes such as St Ann, where activities are usually heightened at this time of the year,” he noted.

“What we do generally, in our plans, is to ensure that our support units, they target these locations. What we have done in the past and we continue to do is where necessary, we move personnel to these locations and ensure that we can be effective in policing these areas,” ACP McKenzie said.

He added that the JCF continues to integrate the use of technology in its policing efforts, which has assisted its crime fighting activities across all parishes.

“[Through] our JamaicaEye, our closed circuit television (CCTV) systems, we are coordinating prevention and enforcement. Our personnel within our CCTV centres, they are interfacing with officers on the roadway and so where we see breaches, where we have suspicion of activities that are outside of what is lawful, then we communicate and act on them,” ACP McKenzie said.

In the meantime, he said that the JCF is addressing incidents of praedial larceny.

“We have seen already, where persons have started to steal cattle. At this time [of the year], persons also tend to eat a lot of curried goat and so persons tend to try to steal goats to sell them and so you [farmers] have to protect your [animals]. We are trying our best to ensure that our systems are coordinated to apprehend these people,” he noted.

ACP McKenzie said that the Quick Response Teams are responding to crimes, such as robberies, that increase during this time of the year.

“We have been doing quite a bit of very good work within the corporate area, St Catherine, St James, St Elizabeth, by virtue of the Quick Response Teams that we have, and we continue to try and be very vigilant,” ACP McKenzie added.

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