Mon | Jul 23, 2018

Safety, security taskforce for returning residents

Published:Thursday | July 12, 2018 | 11:34 AM
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr - File photo

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade says a taskforce will be established to address the safety and security concerns of returning residents seeking to live, work and conduct business in Jamaica.

The ministry says the move was announced following a meeting on Tuesday convened by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr.

Charles Jr was joined by senior officials from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the National Association of Returned Citizens, the Jamaica Association for Resettlement of Returned Residents (JARR), the British Jamaica Association (BJA) and staff of the Diaspora Affairs Department of the Ministry.

According to Minister Charles, the Task Force’s main objective will be the operationalisation of strategies and solutions aimed at addressing the concerns of returning residents.

Additionally, the taskforce will be mandated to work closely with Jamaica Customs, the security forces and other stakeholders with the aim of, among other things, creating a protocol that will improve the safety and security levels of returning residents.

The taskforce, which will be chaired by the State Minister, will comprise members from the Returning Residents Associations, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and the Diaspora Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry.

“Crime reduction is the Government’s number one priority”, Charles Jr. underscored.

Senior Superintendent of Police Karina Powell-Hood outlined that the JCF is to develop a standard operating procedure in addressing the concerns of returning residents.

SSP Powell-Hood noted that the JCF currently has 19 Community Security Officers as a measure aimed at increasing the safety and security of citizens, including those who are returning home to live.

She noted, that “The Community Safety Officer is the point of contact with Returning Residents and is sensitised to address their concerns”.

The Senior Superintendent also informed that the JCF is compiling a Security and Safety Handbook for Returning Residents and will count on the partnership of all stakeholders present at the meeting in the process.  

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