Portmore Pines launches neighbourhood watch programme

Robert Finzi-Smith, director of security at the University of Technology, addresses the function.

In an attempt to make their community safer, Portmore Pines residents officially launched their neighbourhood watch programme at Cashew Park inside the housing scheme recently.

Under dark clouds and what appeared to be light showers of blessings, a new dawn seemed to be on the horizon for this community, dubbed Portmore’s Beverly Hills, as residents came out in droves.

However, Superintendent Clive Blair of St Catherine South police reminded the residents that ‘the real work starts after the launch’. He stressed that the residents and the police must be united in their fight against crime. Senior Superintendent of Police Michael James echoed similar sentiments. He mentioned that stakeholders need to monitor and make sure that ‘Watches’ are vibrant.

Member of Parliament for East Central St Catherine, Arnaldo Brown, noted that a real problem exists as fear has driven many residents to become silent about criminal activities in their community, and the same fear will kill them.

Suspicious activities

Robert Finzi-Smith, director of security at the University of Technology, was his usual eloquent and charismatic self, as he gave persons pointers on how to preserve their own safety, and likewise the safety of their community. He implored residents to be vigilant and monitor suspicious activities in their communities.

In-between speakers, Britanya Reid sang the spiritual rendition Eye Of The Storm and the community’s youths gave the audience a lesson in sign language.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant reminded residents of areas criminals may lurk and steps to protect their life and property.

During the launch, residents were urged not to be deterred by the stigma of being an informer or whistle-bowler, and to do anything in their power to make their communities safe.

The deal was made official when the residents and the Jamaica Constabulary Force signed a memorandum of understanding near the end of the proceedings.

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