JIS:  Head of the Jamaica Diaspora Crime Intervention and Prevention Task Force, Dr. Rupert Francis, says that education and community engagement can play a major role in fighting crime in Jamaica.

 

“Education has a real effect on crime. We have to make sure that we start with the very young and have the community involved. It takes a village to raise the child,” Dr. Francis said.

 

He was speaking at a public forum on ‘Community Policing: The Role of the Citizen’ at the University of Technology’s (UTech) in St. Andrew on June 13. The event was part of Diaspora Day of Service activities, a signature feature of the Eighth Biennial Diaspora Conference.

 

Dr.  Francis, in highlighting the importance of police engagement with the citizenry, noted that crime in Los Angeles was reduced by 50 per cent over a five-year period through community policing.

 

“If this could happen in Los Angeles, why not here? We need community policing, we need the community back,” he said.

 

“Jamaica is our community and we have to take care of it,” he added.

 

Executive Director, Youth Crime Watch of Jamaica, Kethania Griffiths, for her part, emphasised the importance of partnerships among various stakeholders in addressing crime.

 

“Collaboration is where we know what each other is doing and get to work together in building a safer Jamaica,” she said.

 

The Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will take place from June 16 to 20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

 

The event is being held under the theme ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development’.

 

The objectives are to finalise and endorse the draft National Diaspora Policy for presentation to Cabinet; report on the outcomes from the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference; examine global trends and events in diaspora host countries and the inherent issues, challenges, and opportunities that will significantly impact the diaspora.

 

The conference will also establish specific actionable outcomes, including matters that the diaspora will wish to endorse for implementation.

 

The event will feature a Youth Forum, which will engage young Jamaicans in a bid to deepen connections and nurture their involvement in the nation’s affairs.

 

CAPTION: Head of the Jamaica Diaspora Crime Intervention and Prevention Task Force, Dr. Rupert Francis (centre), addresses a public forum on ‘Community Policing: The Role of the Citizen’, at the University of Technology (UTech) on June 13. At right is Executive Director, Youth Crime Watch of Jamaica, Kethania Griffiths.