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“Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. and Director of the Diaspora Affairs Department in the Foreign Ministry, Lincoln Downer convened a meeting on Tuesday, July 10, with representatives of the Returning Residents Associations across the island as well as members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)  where they shared their concerns about issues affecting them.”

 

A Taskforce will be established to address the safety and security concerns of Returning Residents seeking to live, work and conduct business in Jamaica.

This move was announced following a meeting on Tuesday, July 10, convened by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. The Minister was joined by senior officials from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the National Association of Returned Citizens, the Jamaica Association for Resettlement of Returned Residents (JARR), the British Jamaica Association (BJA) and staff of the Diaspora Affairs Department of the Ministry.

According to Minister Charles, the Task Force’s main objective will be the operationalization of strategies and solutions aimed at addressing the concerns of Returning Residents who wish to live, work and conduct business in Jamaica. Additionally, the Taskforce will be mandated to work closely with Customs, the security forces and other stakeholders with the aim of, among other deliverables, creating a protocol that will improve the safety and security levels of returning residents.

The Taskforce, which will be chaired by the State Minister, will comprise members from the Returning Residents Associations, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Diaspora Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry. “Crime reduction is the Government’s number one priority”, the Minister underscored.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Karina Powell-Hood outlined that the JCF is to develop a standard operating procedure in addressing the concerns of Returning Residents. She noted that the JCF currently has nineteen (19) Community Security Officers (CSOs) as a measure aimed at increasing the safety and security of citizens, including those who are returning home to live.

She noted, that the “The Community Safety Officer (CSO) is the point of contact with Returning Residents and is sensitized to address their concerns.” The Senior Superintendent also informed that the JCF is compiling a Security and Safety Handbook for Returning Residents and will count on the partnership of all stakeholders present at the meeting in the process.