Task force on safety, security of returnees to be established

Thursday, July 12, 2018

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

The move comes weeks after three British citizens were brutally murdered in two separate incidents in rural Jamaica.

Minister of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, in a release sent to the media yesterday, said that the task force's main objective will be the operationalisation of strategies and solutions aimed at addressing the concerns of returning residents who wish to live, work and conduct business in Jamaica.

The task force will also be mandated to work closely with Customs, the security forces and other stakeholders with the aim of, among other deliverables, creating a protocol that will improve the safety and security levels of returning residents.

The task force, which will be chaired by Charles Jr, will comprise members from the Returning Residents Association, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Diaspora Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry.

“Crime reduction is the Government's number one priority,” the minister said.

Senior Superintendent of Police Karina Powell-Hood outlined that the JCF is to develop a standard operating procedure for addressing the concerns of returnees. She 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.

“The community safety officer is the point of contact with returning residents and is sensitised to address their concerns,” she said.

Powell-Hood also informed that the JCF is compiling a Security and Safety Handbook for returnees.

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