Jamaica Gleaner / Western Bureau:
The new-found confidence, which is making residents in Hanover increasingly comfortable in providing vital information to the police, is making life difficult for criminals in that parish as they no longer have the luxury of operating in comfort.
Residents are praising the approach of Superintendent of Police Sharon Beeput, the officer in charge of the parish, who introduced bold community-policing initiatives the last year to boost the level of interaction between residents and the police.
“We are feeling much safer since her arrival, and this sentiment has been communicated to me as I traverse throughout the parish,” said Councillor Sheridan Samuels, the mayor of Lucea and chairman of the Hanover Municipal Corporation.
Hanover’s custos, Dr David Stair, is also quite impressed by Beeput’s leadership style, saying her approach to policing the parish is generating trust among residents, which should prove beneficial to all and sundry.
“I think she is doing well, and she is getting quite a lot of support from right across the parish, as most people seem to trust her and have great confidence in her,” said Stair.
At the recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation, Beeput gave an outline of her schedule of activities for the parish over the next few weeks, which gave a clear picture of how she intends to continue to engage residents as part of her overall effort to solicit even more cooperation.
“We are planning widely publicised meetings in several communities, following on the one we had in Haddington recently, which was well attended and several relevant issues discussed,” said Beeput. “On the 21st of February, there will be one such meeting in Williamsfield, and we want to have a meaningful meeting with all the stakeholders and agencies involved.”
Beeput also outlined that plans were on the drawing board for meetings in Montpelier, Mount Piece, Elgin Town, and Hopewell. She used the opportunity to plead to the various political representatives to make their presence felt in support of the police at these meetings.
More than 50 per cent drop in murders
With a more than 50 per cent drop in murders in the parish since the start of 2018, when compared with the corresponding period in 2017, and an 80 per cent clear-up rate for the murders committed this year, Superintendent of Police Sharon Beeput expressed appreciation to the residents of the parish for the confidence they are now showing in giving information to the police.
“We have to work together in the interest of the communities in general and the nation as a whole,” said Beeput. “We all have to play our part to get the result we want.”
Beeput is working to revive a number of neighbourhood watch groups and youth groups within the parish as part of the wider strategy to win the confidence of residents.