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Tips to Crime Stop increase

Observer writer

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

ROSE HALL, St James — National Integrity Action (NIA) Executive Director Professor Trevor Munroe says he is encouraged by the number of useful tips received by Crime Stop.

Addressing a Justice of the Peace (JP) sensitisation session at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James last Friday, the NIA head disclosed that the monthly average for tips received for the first nine months of 2016/2017 was 100. He said that number has doubled for the same period in 2018/2019.

The tips have resulted in the seizure of contraband and weapons, Munroe said.

He argued that while people are now sharing more information, JPs have a role to play.

“People are beginning to say what they know… you need to help and to encourage in that regard,” urged Professor Munroe.

Noting that encouragement sweetens labour, Munroe said the money paid out by Crime Stop for the first 11 months of 2019 is four times that of 2017.

“In the first 11 months of 2019, you know how much rewards were paid out to those providing tips that were useful? Eight million Jamaican dollars, and that's four times what it was in 2017,” he stated.

The NIA head also said that, in addition to Crime Stop, individuals can make reports on corruption and abuse of public funds to other hotlines, including the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, NIA and the auditor general's office.

Also, despite the gains made by Crime Stop in dealing with organised crime and corruption, Professor Munroe argued that for too long Jamaica has been standing still in the fight against them.

The NIA boss further indicated that the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2019 is unlikely to show any significant gains by the country.

“The global Corruption Perceptions Index in 2018 tells us that, when it came out in January (2019), we standing too still. We fell a couple of points, same score — 44 out of a hundred. Whenever your children go to school and get 44 out of a hundred, I hope you sit them down and say, 'Look, that can't work'. Fifty is the pass mark; we (Jamaica) got 44,” he continued.

“The 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index is likely to come out in January of next year and I don't think that we are likely to see any significant gains. But the signs are that if you do your part, and we do ours, minister and his team, 2020 can be a turning point,” argued an optimistic Munroe.

Corruption Perceptions Index is an annual report provided by Transparency International, which ranks countries by their perceived levels of corruption as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.