Changes coming for police divisional borders – Chang | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News | Loop News

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, has announced a pending major overhaul of the divisional boundaries of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

This he said is aimed at making policing more efficient and effective, and in keeping with the “significant challenges posed by increased population and urbanisation”.

Chang, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, made the disclosure on Wednesday during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Gordon House.

He noted that while the police force is organised into five geographic areas which have retained their original boundaries despite population changes, and while much has been done in institutional restructuring, “there are several critical changes that have become necessary in establishing good public order throughout the country and we believe that these changes are one such,” said Chang.

The new configuration will see the six Corporate Area divisions and St. Thomas becoming the new Metropolitan Region. The police divisions of St Catherine and Clarendon would become a new Area.

Meanwhile, increased population, commercialisation and industrial activities, as well as the changing dynamics in criminality, will require modifications to the current Area One – St James, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny Chang said.

“Therefore, these parishes would justify their administration, as we seek to quell the violence that has gripped that part of the country,” he stated while pointing out that Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, and Manchester will form a new police Area, leaving a new look Area One encompassing St James, Hanover and Trelawny.

The security minister said in addition, there is a proposal for the establishment of the Kingston and St. Andrew Metropolitan Portfolio.

This, he explained, would be in line with municipalities the world over which have long recognised the need for the unification of policing services within their metropolitan areas, aimed at achieving greater operational efficiency.

Although operating in close proximity, the divisions within Kingston and St. Andrew have six independent divisional headquarters, each having separate command structures, deployment arrangements, operational strategies and communication frameworks.

“This mode of operation creates silos, and poses significant challenges to effective coordination and command and control and as a result, a suitable location to house the portfolio headquarters has been identified, while the concept has received approval from the Public Investment Management Committee,” Chang told the House.

He said that while criminals operate seamlessly across policing divisions within the Corporate Area, “there is no way that law enforcement efforts should be constrained by geographic boundaries”.