Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, says implementation of the states of public emergency (SOE) is creating space for the police to erode the influence of gangs in hotspot communities.
Citing the example of Salt Spring in St James, he noted that the community, which was once the base for a violent gang, has been transformed, and members of the security forces can now move freely throughout the area.
“You have police officers travelling in their private cars, in uniforms and people are waving at them; that’s the change in Salt Spring.”— Anderson
He said that through a process of engagement and social interventions involving various stakeholders, the relationship between the residents and the police has significantly improved.
“Nowadays, you have police officers travelling in their private cars, in uniforms and people are waving at them; that’s the change in Salt Spring. We are using the state of public emergency to do a series of normal law-enforcement activities to create the change and engagement with communities,” he added.
Anderson was speaking at a forum organised by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew on Wednesday (March 4).
Meanwhile, he said that the police force is being equipped to operate more effectively.
“A lot of the technologies that we are putting in place are going to allow us to deal with things like mobility, communications and the behaviour of gangs. We have our law-enforcement strategy, our transformational strategy, all of them are moving along, and we should see better results in the future,” he noted.