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Jamaica’s police commish to talk country’s crime

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Jamaica’s top cop is coming to Brooklyn to speak at a public forum about the island nation’s crime at Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn Heights on July 19.

Police Commissioner Major General Anthony Anderson will be the main guest at the forum, “Arresting Crime and Violence: A National Priority for Jamaica.” The high ranking officer is going to discuss the country’s crime rate, vital statistics pertaining to criminal offenses, and inform members of its local diaspora on the department’s handling of the matter, said the force’s communications liaison officer.

“The focus will be on different topics and this year the theme is on crime and security — it’s a major concern for all Jamaicans not just in the diaspora, but for all groups who live there as well,” said Karina Hood.

She noted that many concerns were caused by misconceptions, and while crime remains an issue, misinformation is being spread, which the commissioner will quell with actual figures.

“If you follow just headlines, it paints a different picture of what’s going on,” said Hood. “But just to put things in perspective — we’re looking at strategies that we conducted and looking at it from broad cooperation to what we know.”

The commissioner is aiming to address what is true and false about Jamaica’s crime, and the offer a broader outlook because falsehoods are overwhelmingly shaping the narrative, added Hood.

“If you follow that particular picture, it appears as if crime is random and widespread, but it is not as random as what it’s made to be and in most cases by and large — sensational headlines are defining the perspective,” added Hood. “It’s not our intention to scheme over or sugarcoat reality but to give the truth about what’s actually happening.”

A growing concern for many Jamaicans is the crime rate, but also how to protect their assets. With a high number of diasporans returning to their native country to buy land and build homes, there is the worry of maintaining their homes in their absence.

“What concerns people the most are gun violence, shootings, and also property-crime related to returning residents,” said Hood. “Many are concerned about the security of their home and being able to move about freely in public.”

In response, the commissioner is also going to detail how property-owners can utilize the police force and other security measures to protect their estates.

The event is part of an annual series organized by the Jamaica National Group in an effort to bring issues happening on the island to people of Jamaican descent living abroad. The commissioner is making a stop in Toronto, Canada on July 17, and will complete his tour in Brooklyn. Guests can register to attend the free event here: www.jnoutlook2018.doattend.com.

“Arresting Crime and Violence: A National Priority for Jamaica” at Marriott Hotel [333 Adams St. between Livingston and Johnson streets in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 246-7000, www.jngroup.com]. July 19 at 6 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @AS1mon.
Updated 1:47 pm, July 17, 2018
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