Ja police target political hot spots

The Police High Command says members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force will increase their presence in a number of communities plagued by political violence ahead of the general election set for August 27.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Linval Bailey yesterday identified the communities as Mountain View in Eastern St. Andrew; Central Village in St. Catherine South Central; Brandon Hill and Stony Hill in West Rural St. Andrew, and Woodford Park in South East St. Andrew.

DCP Bailey told reporters at an informal press briefing at the Police Officers’ Club, Hope Road, that the police were ready for the elections and had received equipment, including firearms.

Senior JCF officers have also given the assurance that the police would deploy the necessary resources to monitor regular hot spots during the campaign period and on election day, to ensure that order is maintained.

DCP Bailey said the shortage of vehicles in the force is also to be addressed, as a new fleet would arrive in the island in time for the election.

The police have established an election centre with a senior officer assigned to work with members of the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Office of Jamaica.

A senior police officer has also been assigned to the Electoral Commission to head any investigation into incidents that may lead to the voiding of an election.

He said the Police High Command would also take steps to crack down on breaches of the law during political campaigning.

“We have not seen the kind of order that we expect, and come very shortly, we’ll see a change in the way we approach enforcement on these motorcades,” he warned.

Members of the JCF will be using video cameras to gather evidence to support police action against persons who sell and smoke marijuana and carry out other illegal acts on the campaign trail.

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