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    Security Minister commends PICA staff

    June 01, 2015 | Jamaica Observer

    KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, has commended the staff of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), for the hard work they put in to process the many persons applying for passports over the last two weeks.

    Bunting, who addressed the staff at the temporary location at the National Indoor Sports Centre on May 29, said he publicly acknowledges the outstanding commitment of the PICA team who, for the last two weeks, worked long hours to process approximately four times the average daily volume of passport applications.

    “This involved transferring much of the head office passport systems and operations to the National Indoor Sports Centre during week two. As someone with wide experience across a variety of organisations, I can confidently state that few organisations in either the public or private sector could have responded as well as PICA’s team to the fourfold increase in throughput,” the minister said.

    He also said he wished to thank the Police and other agencies that provided critical assistance during this period.

    PICA had to relocate to the Centre on May 26 from their Constant Spring Road headquarters to deal with the many applicants for passports, ahead of the new fees which took effect today (June 1). The PICA staff has returned to their headquarters.

    Since announcement of the new fees on May 17, PICA processed 10,576 applications for the first week for the entire island and 9,708 last week.

    The cost for a regular adult passport has moved from $4,500 to $6,500; and a passport for a minor has moved from $2,700 to $4,000. At the same time, replacing lost passports for adults will cost $11,500 (up from $9,500) and $7,000 (up from $5,700) for minors.

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    Police Post To Be Established At Spanish Town Bus Park

    By: Shelly-Ann Irving

    May 8, 2015

    A police post will be established at the Spanish Town bus park as part of long-term measures to address crime in the area, including extortion by criminal gangs.

    National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, made the disclosure on May 7, during a tour of the St. Catherine North Police Division.

    He said the move came out of a meeting with key stakeholders in the town, prior to the tour, including the Parish Council, operators of the bus park, the police, members of the Chamber of Commerce, and the church.

    At the meeting, the strategies to be implemented were discussed and a working group was established under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake.

    The police post, the Minister said, will ensure a permanent police/military presence in the bus park, which has been losing funds due to extortion by criminal gangs.

    He said the operation of the bus park will also be overhauled to bring it under the strict control of the Parish Council.

    This, he said, will ensure that the revenues it generates go back to the council and into the communities in a legitimate way, and not to support criminal activity.

    “We do not want any of the factions (or) criminal enterprises to have access to these funds. We have to establish a lawful system under the supervision of the police and military and ensure that we totally stamp out criminal activity,” the Security Minister said.

    “We believe that part of this long-term solution has to be to eliminate the source of funds for these criminal gangs. “As long as there is funding, they will be able to keep recruiting additional persons,” he stressed.

    Installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV), to provide additional security in areas in proximity to the bus park, will also be explored.

    Residents of St. Catherine North will be engaged in social intervention programmes with the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the church, and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to change the culture of gang leadership in communities.

    It is proposed that the measures will be implemented by early July, with short-term strategies employed until then.

    President of the Jamaica Association of Full Gospel Churches, Bishop Rowan Edwards, welcomed the efforts of the Security Ministry to bring order to St. Catherine North.

    “I know it is a challenge… but the church is standing with him and several interest groups across St. Catherine are working with the Minister to tame this giant (of crime),” he said.

    The Bishop also urged residents to join the fight to “confront those in the minority, who are trying to control the majority.”

    The touring party, which included members of the security forces and community stakeholders, visited areas such as New Nursery, Greendale and Thompson Pen, and met with residents, including victims recently affected by crime in the division.

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    ‘Thousands of jobs could be lost if lottery scam is not controlled’


    MINISTER OF National Security Peter Bunting has said the economic value of the tourist resort of Montego Bay is under threat and thousands of jobs could be lost if the illegal lottery scam is not brought under control.

    “We have taken the anti-lotto scam task force and brought it under MOCA (Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force), recognising that while the individual players in the lotto scam might not rise to the kingpin level, but collectively, it represents a clear and present danger to Jamaica,” said Bunting, during an address to the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry last Thursday. “… it represents a huge risk to the economy of St James.”

    According to the security minister, the people most likely to be affected are those employed to call centres and the tourism sectors.

    “if we can’t make some real dents in what is going on now, certainly your whole call centre is going to be threatened and 10,000 or so jobs,” continued Bunting, “Certainly your tourism is going to be at risk as well, people are going to be fearful that they come here and if they run a credit card, information is skimmed off and they might become the victims of fraud.”

    “Once you get that international reputation, you are going to find there is going to be a negative impact on the economy,” continued Bunting.

    Read full Gleaner article here:http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120926/lead/lead93.html

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    NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Peter Bunting has confirmed that the Government has special plans for Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Justin Felice after his contract expires later this year.

    Bunting also disclosed that other police personnel from the United Kingdom (UK) would soon be arriving in Jamaica to boost the expertise of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

    “We are in the process of looking for someone at a senior superintendent level from the UK to head our Crime Scene Investigation unit,” Bunting said.

    Sources say ACP Felice will be reassigned to the Financial Investigations Division of the Ministry of Finance after he completes his contract with the JCF. However, Bunting was coy in response to queries about the plans for Felice.


    “ACP Felice’s contract comes to an end in September this year and discussions are under way for a reassignment of his current position, which is head of the Anti-Corruption Branch, of about five years,” said Bunting.

    He added: “I am not in a position to confirm what that new position will be, but I believe it is the intention of the Government that he will move on from the leadership of the Anti-Corruption Branch to another assignment.”

    Bunting said he was misinterpreted when news reports suggested that the use of expatriate police in Jamaica had come to an end.

    He said he was responding to a question in reference to the end of ACP Les Green’s tenure. “I said I believe that after eight years, if he hadn’t transferred the skills and the best practices, then he would have failed in his objectives.”

    Source: Jamaica-Gleaner.com

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    MOCA to go after crime kingpins, facilitators

    NATIONAL Security Minister Peter Bunting yesterday launched the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force (MOCA), which he says will go after crime kingpins and their facilitators, including lawyers, bankers and other public officials.

    He said the task force will also investigate cyber crimes.

    “Targeting these top bosses and their facilitators is a most effective way of degrading criminal networks, seizing their assets and undermining their power, which ultimately allows the network to be permanently dismantled,” said Bunting, noting that MOCA was formed as part of the priority recommendation out of the 2012/2016 National Security Policy.

    “This morning really signals a change in policy emphasis. We are shifting the focus from street-level criminals to target the top bosses — the kingpins — and perhaps more importantly, will be our focus on the people who handle the money… the facilitators,” he said.

    The launch took place at the Police Officers’ Club in St Andrew.

    Bunting theorised that without monetary profits, criminals will desist from executing crimes, and targeting the ‘facilitators’ will both assist with crime-fighting efforts on the ground as well as prevent ill-gotten funds from being laundered or sent overseas out of the reach of the jurisdiction of local law enforcers.

    “It is the facilitators who protect organised crime and who allow it to flourish. They are also major beneficiaries of organised crime as they take a significant percentage of the profits,” he said.

    “Criminals are not in the business of trafficking narcotics or weapons. They are in the business of making money. Crime is motivated primarily by profit and the only way to permanently reduce the level of crime is to take the profit out of crime,” he added.

    MOCA has as part of its logo an octopus, which represents the many tentacles of organised crime with which the security forces have to grapple. The task force has representatives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force, the Financial Investigations Divisions, the Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department, among others.

    Unlike other task forces, Bunting said MOCA will be very selective in the cases which it targets.

    Yesterday, he pleaded to members of the public to assist the task force by reporting corrupt activities to the body.

    Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/MOCA-to-go-after-crime-kingpins–fac…

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    AS NATIONAL security minister, it’s probably not every day you have fun. But there was no doubt Peter Bunting was over the moon on Friday to be a passenger in an CF-18 Hornet, a jet similar to the one that wowed the crowd at the waterfront on Labour Day.

    The occasion was an air show hosted by the Jamaica Defence Force and their Canadian counterparts at the JDF’s Norman Manley International Airport base.

    While other guests were getting tours of the actual Hornet that was used in the Labour Day air show, Bunting was getting prepped for his maiden jet flight.

    Detachment commander, Lt Col Louis-Henri Remillard of the Royal Canadian Air Force, explained that the minister passed all the necessary medical tests before being fitted with his G-suit. The suit is specially made to pump air into the legs of the passenger and pilot to stop all the blood running into their legs and leaving their heads.

    “They would go unconscious and obviously that can’t happen,” he joked. Remillard said that you have to be between about 136 and 230 pounds to fly in the jet. Too small and your body can’t take the force if you have to eject due to emergency; too large and the parachute won’t slow you down when you’re heading for the ground. The minister and the pilot, Major Miguel Bernard, were also equipped with their vests which contained survival equipment including inflatable raft, rations and a first-aid kit.

    At about 11:45 a.m., getting the all-clear from the technicians who made sure he was properly harnessed and strapped in and that the jet was in top shape, the Hornet taxied for a few minutes before roaring off, carrying Bunting and Major Bernard for a quick trip around the island. Remillard also confirmed that Bunting would be allowed to manoeuvre the jet.

    “The pilot obviously would decide when,” he smiled.

    Source: www.jamaica-gleaner.com

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    TWICKENHAM PARK, St Catherine:

    THEIR WHITE tunics glistened under the morning sun as sweat trickled down their stoic faces. And in the sweltering heat the 197 constables sat, listened, watched, and participated in perhaps the biggest day of their lives, so far, on Friday, April 27, at Twickenham Park, St Catherine. It was the 100th batch to pass out of the Jamaica Police Academy since 1981.

    Expectedly, pageantry and salutes were the order of the brief ceremony, which was addressed by Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, the keynote speaker, who also doubled as parade reviewing officer. The activities started with a performance by the Magnificent Troopers, with the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band under the baton of DSP Winston Woolcock, assisted by the ISCF Corps of Drums, providing music for the rest of the proceedings. Near to the end, moving and synchronising to music, the 197 constables formed the number 100, symbolic of their batch.

    exemplary students recognised

    In addition to the basic training certificates, awards were given to exemplary student constables: Cleon Dwyer and Ovell Burton for Best Christian Principles; Erak Newman and Simba Anderson for Best Leadership Qualities; Shimron Walker and Raymond Johnson for Highest Marks Obtained; and Hugh Lewis and Ricardo Smith for Best Shot. A special award was given to Rehum Shand by his father, retiring ACP Derrick Shand.

    On hand to witness the occasion and show support were throngs of relatives and friends from all over the country, some turning up after the ceremony was finished. Of note, Constables Shimron Walker and Raymond Johnson, who obtained the highest marks, are from St Mary and attended St Mary High School.

    After the formalities, the graduates, comprising eight squads, were taken to an area where the morning’s performance was reviewed and critiqued. Group photography followed, after which they were released to their friends and loved ones, who hugged, kissed, shook hands, and cried. The constables will assume duties today at various stations across the island. The real test has begun.

    Source: Jamaica-Gleaner.com

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    JUST OVER a month after National Security Minister Peter Bunting announced in Parliament that the commissioner of police had been told to ensure that there was a reduction in the number of fatal shootings, the Police High Command is lauding officers for what it claims has been restraint in the face of attacks from criminals.

    The High Command said yesterday it had taken note of the fact that in recent weeks, there has been a significant increase in the number of gun attacks by criminal elements on citizens and its members.

    “We are very encouraged by the show of restraint that has been demonstrated by our members in recent weeks and we hope that this becomes our way of engagement going forward,” read a statement from the High Command.

    The High Command pointed to an incident along Spanish Town Road in St Andrew recently which saw gunmen expending more than 60 rounds of ammunition from high-powered rifles against a police constable. The constable was injured in the incident.

    Shot at point-blank range

    The police said that in another incident, during an attempt to apprehend members of the Hunk of Gold gang, a policeman was shot at point-blank range. He was saved by his ballistic vest. It also pointed to another incident in Riverton City, St Andrew, on Saturday where policemen responding to a murder came under attack while trying to transport one of the injured persons involved in the incident to hospital.

    Though the police did not outline exactly how they had used restraint in these incidents, Bunting, responding to the news, said he, too, was encouraged, adding that this might be the beginning of a culture change.

    The minister said, however, that the police must be careful that criminals “don’t take kindness for weakness and become more brazen in attacking policemen”.

    He said: “I also understand the balance that the High Command has to be trying to achieve. In a sense, it’s almost like walking between raindrops because we are not yet at the stage where we have eliminated high-powered weapons from criminal gangs out there and, therefore, it is a dangerous policing environment.”

    In March, Bunting called for police to make every effort to preserve the lives of suspects and innocent bystanders, even when engaged in shoot-outs.

    “We are not putting even the lives of gunmen confronting the police at a lower level. If they can be saved, they should be saved as well.”

    New strategies coming

    Bunting said the police should engage in the use of deadly force “only if it is unavoidable and necessary to protect innocent lives”.

    Police Commissioner Owen Ellington later announced that the police would be adopting several new strategies regarding the use of force which are intended to lessen the number of fatal incidents during operations. He said the new approach is to be incorporated into the police’s standard operating procedures, as well as included in the firearm and tactical training for top-ranked officers.

    SOURCE: Jamaica-Gleaner.com

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    SECURITY Minister Peter Bunting, has assured family members of the four men slain in Rejoin district Wednesday night that the police will not relent until the perpetrators of the attack are brought to justice. He gave the assurance this morning during his tour of the community, accompanied by Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington and members of the top brass of Area one.

    The security minister also assured family members that the Area One Chaplaincy will offer special counselling to the traumatised family members.

    Meanwhile, Ellington guaranteed residents of Rejoin that a strong police presence will be maintained in the area.

    He also promised to give consideration to the training of suitable qualified residents of the community to be district constables.

    A father and his son were among the four persons gunned down when gunmen went amok in the community Wednesday night.

    The deceased have been identified as 64-year-old caddy Lenford Frazer, his son, 49-year-old hotel worker Delroy Fraser; 64-year-old farmer Kenneth Bernard, and David Harding 41, all of Rejoin, Hanover.

    Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/We-will-bring-Rejoin-murderers…

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