Regional

Police should do more to engage St Elizabeth residents, says Floyd Green

DSP Leroy Minott strongly rebuts claims

Monday, May 06, 2019

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BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South Western Floyd Green says the leadership of the St Elizabeth police force is not doing enough to “engage” residents in the fight against crime.

Green framed his comments in the context of the recent imposition of states of emergency in neighbouring Westmoreland, Hanover and St James, and the need for locals to be on the alert for criminals fleeing those parishes.

“I know we have some of the finest officers... but I do believe the hierarchy of the police locally has to do a better job of engaging the community to ensure that there is a share of information,” said Green, who is junior minister for industry, commerce and agriculture.

“If the community is not engaged then they will not take the necessary steps to (share information with the police),” Green said at a ceremony to mark the expansion and renovation of Black River Health Centre last Thursday.

His comments were rebutted by Deputy Superintendent, Leroy Minott of the St Elizabeth police in an interview with The Jamaica Observer Central, immediately after the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“I can't agree with him (Green)... I am certain that is not the case...,” said Minott, in response to the criticism that local police weren't doing enough to seek the support of citizens.

“We have a very vibrant Community Safety and Security Branch that is very active,” said Minott.

Additionally, he said, police made it their business to hold regular community meetings and informal chats with residents, including 'Youth on the Corner' — were regular features of police patrols in St Elizabeth.

Minott agreed with Green that residents needed to stay vigilant and to look out for and immediately report to the police, the presence of strangers and unusual activities.

Earlier Green had urged the St Elizabeth police “to ensure that they are leaving no stone unturned and that they are putting in the appropriate measures so that those who would want to take up a hiding place in our parish...will have no place to hide”.

He pleaded with residents, “please if you see anything strange, make a call to the police immediately...”

St Elizabeth is considered a parish with a relatively low crime rate compared to most others. Police have reported nine murders here since the start of the year.


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