|ISCF to take on maintenance of public order
|MARK CUMMINGS, Observer staff reporter
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
|PHILLIPS... the new policy envisages a ISCF that will focus on public order, municipal policing, traffic duties and combating praedial larceny and enforcing environmental laws|
WESTERN BUREAU -- Security minister Peter Phillips yesterday announced Government's plans to increase the membership of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), to incorporate within its functions a number of existing units, to address the general maintenance of order.
The security minister, who spoke at yesterday's 18th annual Joint Central Conference of the ISCF at the Runaway Heart Hotel in St Ann, said the restoration and maintenance of order at public spaces was a major part of Government's effort to fight crime and violence.
The security minister said traffic, environmental and agricultural wardens as well as some municipal police would be incorporated in the ISCF.
"The new policy envisages a ISCF that will focus on public order, municipal policing, traffic duties and combating praedial larceny and enforcing environmental laws," Phillips said.
He added that the ISCF would also have the capacity to carry out joint operations with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, but would continue to perform its traditional role.
"Part of this effort is to restore an atmosphere of law and order and discipline in our country. This, however, is going to depend on us recovering control of our critical public spaces, so that the general law-abiding public can go about their business free from fear and free from harassment from all and sundry," Phillips said.
The security minister maintained that a general atmosphere of disorder would eventually lead to serious criminal activities that could reap havoc in the society.
He said the plan would involve the use of new technologies, such as close circuit surveillance of critical public spaces that would enable government to use its manpower resources more efficiently.
"We have already sought to secure some technical expertise from overseas to guide us on how to use the new technologies which are already in common use in other jurisdictions," Phillips added.
Phillips also told the ISCF members that they were soon to receive 30 new service vehicles that would enable them to carry out their work effectively.
Phillips added that there were also plans afoot to establish a training facility for members of the ISCF at the Police Academy in St Catherine and for the refurbishing of police stations across the island.