Manchester's new police chief optimistic crime reduction will continueTuesday, July 20, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Newly appointed head of the Manchester police, Deputy Superintendent Lloyd Darby is optimistic that the police division will, for a second-consecutive year, record a reduction in major crimes.
Speaking at the changing of the guard ceremony for the division at Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville yesterday, DSP Darby called on residents and stakeholders to continue their partnership with the police.
“We are in challenging times in our country. Crime has been a problem for us for many decades and it [has been] escalating in recent times. Recent incidents here in our parish have eroded some of the gains that Superintendent [Gary] Francis outlined,” said Darby, in reference to an earlier statement by his predecessor.
“I am calling on the citizens (sic) of the parish to help us [by] partnering with us so that we will regain our footing and we can have that crime reduction that we all want to make our parish a safer place,” he added.
He said there have been fluctuations in crime statistics over the last decade in the division.
DSP Darby said he will focus on the seven-point anti-crime plan as developed by the Police High Command. “We will seek to direct operational assets at major and minor crimes with a goal of consecutive reduction over comparative periods,” he said.
Manchester recorded 108 less major crimes in 2020, a 23 per cent reduction when compared to 2019. Since the start of this year, five of the seven categories of major crimes have recorded reductions.
In the meantime, the new Manchester police commander pointed to congestion in Mandeville and called for the support of stakeholders to remedy the problem.“We will continue the partnership with our public institutions, including the National Works Agency and the Manchester Municipal Corporation,” said Darby.
“When we look at our town of Mandeville and we see the congestion along Park Crescent and Caledonia Road because of the many variables that affect traffic, [including] the business places and the roads that intersect onto Caledonia Road, it is a never-ending flow of traffic,” he added.
He said police presence has been the only factor that eases some of the congestion in the town as there is a need for adequate transport centres for public passenger vehicles.
“We will be working to have a fix to the infrastructure in those areas so we can have an easier traffic flow,” he said.
He also committed to upholding anti-corruption strategies in the parish.
“There will be no room for any semblance of corruption. Corruption eats away at the confidence that should be bestowed on us by our citizens. All the anti-corruption strategies embedded in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be followed,” he said.
He said the division has benefited from technological upgrades.
“We will be utilising them in all areas of investigation so that we can have more arrests and convictions,” he said.
Stakeholders lauded outgoing commander, Superintendent Francis who is being transferred to the Police Emergency Communication Centre.
“Over the last 20 months the records reveal that under the leadership of Superintendent Gary Francis we have seen a reduction in all major crimes. We have seen improved partnership and relationship among the stakeholders,” said Manchester Central Member of Parliament Rhoda Crawford.
Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell and Custos Garfield Green shared similar sentiments as they lauded the leadership style of Francis.
The stakeholders also pledged their full support to DSP Darby.