Police to open six Domestic Violence Intervention centres across the islandTuesday, April 20, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says that six additional Domestic Violence Intervention (DVI) centres will be opened this year as part of its plans to bolsters its capacity to respond to instances of domestic violence.
In a statement today, Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson said the JCF recognised that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people in abusive situations may be in even greater need than before.
''The stress of the economic downturn has affected many negatively and the restrictions on movement have forced people into close quarters for protracted periods,'' he said.
According to the JCF, the centres will be hosted and managed at select police stations where professional volunteers counsel people involved in domestic conflict.
The four existing centres at Constant Spring, Matildas Corner, Morant Bay and Yallahs Police Stations saw over 1500 referrals in 2020, the JCF said.
The JCF added that over 300 supervisors and managers have had DVI training since 2020, with 168 in the last three months as they go through their development courses.
This is in addition, the police said, to the mandatory Domestic Violence Module in place for all police recruits in basic training at the National Police College.
''We have established a national coordination unit within the Community Safety and Security Branch (CSSB) that will capture data, ensure standardization and interface with external partners,'' the commissioner noted.
''We are strengthening the existing processes and procedures for dealing with Domestic Violence and have instituted additional reporting and accountability measures. Each station commander is required to pay particular attention to domestic violence cases within their policing area and report daily to the DVI Liaison officer within the division so that these reports can be appropriately monitored,'' he added.
''While increasing access to DVI centres and facilitators is important it is critical for every police station to be a safe and welcoming space. We have a duty of care to provide protection to those seeking our help. We must respond appropriately to all reports of domestic violence, remain professional and refrain from making any judgmental utterances,'' the police commissioner said.
''It is unacceptable that any member of the public in need of assistance is discouraged by an uncaring attitude or poor service. Such matters brought to my attention have been dealt with decisively. Where there are deviations from the standards, Commanders have been directed to take swift disciplinary action. To this end, any person who feels that they are not being attended to satisfactorily, can report this to our internal investigations branch – the Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau (IPROB) – by calling/messaging 876-838-3084 or emailing email@example.com,'' he added.