Fri | Dec 15, 2017

IDB US$20 million loan to boost police investigative capacity

Published:Thursday | November 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Therese Turner-Jones

Jamaica's criminal investigative capacity is to receive a major boost as a result of a US$20 million loan from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).

In a statement issued yesterday, the IDB outlined that because Jamaica has one of the most violent crime rates within the Americas, there is need to upgrade how crimes are probed.

The aim of the project is to help reduce homicides through intensified crime-prevention activities, including improving conviction rates. The project will also serve to improve the quality of criminal investigations managed by the police and train them in the use of special technology in the fight against crime.

 

Hampers growth

 

The statement further outlined that the violent crime rate of 223 per 100,000 inhabitants continued to affect Jamaica's economic growth prospects.

"Modernising the intelligence of the Jamaica Constabulary Force through the use of technology and better surveillance techniques is important to enhancing policing and citizen security in Jamaica. A modern, trained police force is fundamental to improving the lives of the people of Jamaica," Therese Turner-Jones, IDB's Caribbean Country Department general manager, said.

The loan will be for 25 years, and conditions of repayment include a 5.5-year grace period at a LIBOR-based interest rate. The executing agency will be Jamaica's Ministry of National Security.

Also on the IDB's agenda is the provision of assistance in reducing domestic violence against women because statistics show that during the last five years 19 per cent of female murders were as a result of domestic violence as opposed to three per cent of male murders.

Between 2010 and 2016, Jamaica averaged over 1,200 murders per year. Data show that only 43 per cent of that figure resulted in arrests and subsequent criminal charges being filed against a suspect, and only 36 individuals were successfully incarcerated on murder charges each year.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com