Cops make million-dollar donation to Spanish Town

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter

Monday, May 18, 2015

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THE Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) last week donated more than a million dollars to several NGOs in the St Catherine North Division for residents to implement programmes geared at arresting crime in their communities.

The sum is a fraction of the nearly $12 million which the constabulary is donating to groups across the island.

"Six local organisations were each handed a total of $250,000 towards initiatives in their community aimed at stemming the crime problem,' said Tania Layne from the JCF's Community Safety and Security Branch.

ASP Fitz Albert Linton said the funds were donated to the De la Vega City Benevolent Society, Central Jamaica Conference (Bendon SDA Church), Angels Grove Citizens' Association and Ebony Vale Citizens' Association Benevolent Society.

According to the police high command, the donations were made from the Community Safety Fund.

"Community Safety Fund supports civil society's participation in reducing crime and violence and promoting community safety at the parish/local and community levels," Layne told the Jamaica Observer at the Spanish Town police station where the presentations were made, last Wednesday.

The beneficiary groups had words of praise for the police initiative.

"I am really elated. We believe such a donation will go a far way in implementing a programme in our community," said Avis Bryant-Banton, head of the Ebony Vale Ctizens' Association.

She said the funds will be used for drain cleaning, to develop a sports progarmme and to purchase a public address system.

Alvarine Bennett of De la Vega City Benelovent Society had similar sentiments.

"We as a community are really thankful for the help and we really are grateful for the police and the work that they continue to do to clamp down on crime," she said.

The cops said the fund supports increased collaboration between the JCF and citizens.

It supports, by way of grant assistance, projects from parish safety committees and local community groups. Applicants must therefore request funding for projects focused on crime prevention and community safety from one of the following thematic areas:

* Capacity building to enhance community organisational ability to respond to crime;

* Crime prevention through removal/manage-ment of situational factors that encourage crime (security lighting, padlocks, bushing and clearing of criminal hide outs, security bars, fencing)

* Services to at-risk populations (in school and after school protective programmes for youth most at-risk, support to diversion activities for young person's - gang associates and those at risk of coming in conflict with the law

* Awareness building (undertaking awareness raising activities to deter crime and increase community safety)

Eligible organisations include parish crime prevention and community safety committees, citizens associations, neighbourhood watch groups, youth clubs, NGOs and FBOs (Certified as functional by the Social Development Commission), parish diversion and youth offending teams, and school, colleges and universities.

The JCF and the Ministry of National Security, with the support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) invited proposals for grant funding from eligible organisations in March. Forty-nine applications were submitted, 47 of which were approved. The total funding for these projects, which spread across Jamaica, is $11,868,817.35.

The maximum amount awarded to any group is $250,000, except in rare circumstances in which the grant may be increased to a maximum of $500,000.


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