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CMOC applauds crime plan progress, wants more for parents, at-risk youth

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 2:04 PM
The new Hopewell Police Station in Hanover was opened in March 2024. -Contributed photo

Jamaica's crime plan monitoring group is welcoming the achievement of key targets such as the upgrade of police stations while insisting that more work is needed to deal with at-risk youth and parents.

The Crime Consensus Monitoring and Oversight Committee (CMOC) gave the update on its review of the Government's 2022-2023 Citizen Security Plan (CSP) implementation report at its meeting on May 15. 

CMOC, which comprises civil society and government representatives, said the CSP achieved the full-year targets relating to governance, creation of safe spaces, and Rehabilitation of police stations indicators.

"However, the committee noted that a revamped approach is required to significantly increase the number of parents receiving customised behaviour training and the number of at-risk youth receiving professional qualifications or certifications – both targets that were not attained in the period," said a CMOC media statement issued today. 

CMOC says it supports a request from the CSP Secretariat for the outstanding targets to be adjusted 

The CSP operates out of the Ministry of National Security and is designed to reduce widespread criminal violence and provide opportunities for the development of vulnerable communities.

CMOC's sub-Committee Chairman Bishop Garth Minott said he is in "full support" of the strategies, particularly for at-risk youth and case management and psychosocial support being named as two of the prioritised strategies.” 

“CMOC has been heralding the need for budgetary support for Psychosocial support and we commend the student assessment initiatives and psychological first-aid training that has begun. A lot more is needed, but good to see that the work has started,” the Anglican clergyman added.

Chair of CMOC businessman Lloyd Distant said the CSP "continues to prove what we can achieve when working in a coordinated manner". 

Despite the positive results, he said CMOC "remains in support of the formation of a centralised entity to play a coordinating role in ensuring interconnectedness of initiatives at the community level". 

CMOC was established in 2020 as an independent body to assess and report to the public on measures to stem crime and violence. It comprises non-partisan stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, academia, and church, along with representatives of the political directorate.