POLICE Commissioner Owen Ellington has called on Jamaicans living in communities plagued by violence to play a greater role in helping the authorities to put a lid on the country's escalating crime problem.
The police commissioner said that residents should stop using areas where they live as an excuse for not helping the authorities, as there are residents living in communities with less benefits, who were playing their part to maintain peace.
Ellington made the call as he toured sections of the West Kingston Division on Thursday, where gang violence claimed the lives of two more people in the last two days, in separate incidents in Hannah Town and Jones Town.
"It is now time for the citizens who live here, the people for whom we (police) do all of this, (crime fighting). It is time they understand that there are things that they should do and one of the things is to abhor criminality.
The police commissioner called on residents to stop blaming the area where they lived for the violence.
"As I tour this area I can't help drawing a comparison with other communities that are peaceful and safe, where the citizens are law abiding in Jamaica," said Ellington.
The Commissioner said that when he looked at the infrastructure in the area, "I am looking at roads that are better than the ones I live on. I am looking at housing infrastructure where there are better houses here than where many professionals live.
"The citizens in these communities have to understand that the country has invested a lot in their communities in terms of the infrastructure that they have, and in terms of the policing resources that have been deployed to these areas consistently.
"It is about time that they begin to play their part," said Ellington as he called on community members to begin to isolate criminal elements from their areas.
"Many of these persons (criminals) may be family members or friends. They need to isolate the gangs, they need to give the police information about the gangs and there are many opportunities to share information without disclosing their identity," the top police officer said.
Ellington said that the violence was denying the community of many opportunities, such as businesses and other developments.
"The citizens who live here need to take responsibility for how they are going to live, the kind of relationships they are going to have with each other and how they are going to define their own social order," he said.