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GO-JAMAICA.COM
MAY 12, 2005
DCP Mark Shields
Chat Transcript

Tiamo
What is the extent of corruption you encounter within the JCF and how high up the rank does it exist?
DCPMarkShields
I would say having being here for only 2 1/2 months it would be difficult to quantify the degree of corruption - however I do recognise that it is a problem that undermines a community's confidence in the JCF. There is a new anti corruption branch that will root out corrupt officers at all levels.

Guest
Are there plans to stop having the Police guarding Politicians
DCPMarkShields
No. There is a protection unit who will continue to protect politician.

Fashion Yute
Good, Day My question to you is you have been in power couple months now and the murder rate is climbing miraculously. What is your aim and goal to lower the crime rate?????
DCPMarkShields
Since I have been in office the crime rate has not increased dramatically. We are putting operation methods to focus our resource in an intelligence led fashion. So far there have been some success in August Town and parts of Kingston eastern. However we still have a long way to go. I am working with my senior detectives on a strategy to increase our clear up rates for homicide.

Foxymommia
How will he control the crime rate in Jamaica, with the numbers of killing this last weekend.
DCPMarkShields
We will ensure that we maximise the use of our resources by being intelligence driven. In an effort to focussing where the crime problems are more serious. Although it is early days we are beginning to see some success in this strategy.

Arkan
Let me first welcome Mr. Shields to Jamaica, and hope that he succeeds in helping us rid our beloved country of crime, well at least reduce it to tolerable levels.
DCPMarkShields
Thank you for your welcome. I reallyl enjoy being here and help with the crime problem.

Ja_merican`
good evening commissioner...will jamaica be ever safe again
DCPMarkShields
Jamaica is already safe in some areas. I believe with given time and some effective policing methods supported by working in the community we can make it even safer.

Realrebz
Mr. Shields don't you think that being a member of an Institutionally racist organisation should immediately disqualify you from the current position you hold in Jamaica?
DCPMarkShields
What organisation is that?

Realrock
Mr. Shields people in Jamaica don't trust the police to give them info. Many police themselves are performing criminal activities. What are your plans to restore some confidence in the Jamaican people so that they can trust the police and how are we going to rid ourselves of the bad eggs in the force?
DCPMarkShields
The JCF have established a professional standards branch incorporating an anticorruption unit. This will root out corruption at all level of the organisation at all level . I believe that this will help in increasing public confidence.

Fashion Yute
A suggestion that I have is to raise the reward stakes of persons who turn in a firearm, This can help to get a lot of the guns off the streets.
DCPMarkShields
There is already an effective reward system in crime stoppers and king fish. Many people do give information to the police and are rewarded financially. However most of the calls we receive people are rewarded simply by doing something good for Jamaica.

Batty? callme (m)
What is being done about the situation in Spanish Town... it is becoming a town of extortionists?
DCPMarkShields
I agree that the level of organised crime and extortion in Spanish Town is unacceptable. We are putting measures in place to combat that problem at both the top and bottom.

Fmckenz
I would like to suggest that the hotspots in the corporate area and all capital cities been identified and CCTV be installed
DCPMarkShields
We have already identified hot spots and police them in an intelligence led way. We have reduced homicide in the areas where we have implemented this strategy.

Fashion Yute
When is the Jamaican government going to step up and take a stand on crooked government officials which includes Police officers, Lawyers, Judges and Politicians?
DCPMarkShields
The Ministry of National Security has stated that he will not tolerate corruption in any form and there are moves to establish an independent corruption unit.

Guest
DR SIR MR SHIELDS I HAVE A VERY SERIOUS QUESTION FOR U WHY WHEN U GUYS ARE GOING ON A RADE U TELL THE GUYS IN UR SQUAD WERE U GOING DONT U THINK THERE ARE NORMAL HUMAN BEING AND THEY TELL THIER FRENS AND WHEN U GUYS REACH ALL THE GUNZ AND THE MAN DEM GONE
DCPMarkShields
Yes I agree it is operation ludicrous to warn criminals before we arrive. WE will work with the intelligence and keep our tactics secret until the last minute.

Arkan
My first recommendation to assist in fighting crime is to install cameras in town centres and major intersections etc. as a person involved in IT I recommend this ZX20 ballistic camera. which is bullet proof and was recently installed in New Orleans.
DCPMarkShields
I think CCTV is an effective crime prevention and evidence gathering tool It has been used extensively in the US and UK at a time when witnesses are reluctant to come forward it is good for us to rely on technology. The camera never lies!

Kirkharris

Have you been receiving adequate support within the JCF?
DCPMarkShields
I have received overwhelming support from myth colleagues in the JCF.

Mandy
its good to know Mr. Shield that u know to get a clean Jamaica, u must first root out all those law men who are corrupted,
DCPMarkShields
Yes we are aware of that and I will do all I can to rid the force of corrupt and unprofessional police officers.

Realrock
I think one of the biggest problems in Jamaica is the perceived link between the politician and criminals and i think there is where we need to put some focus
DCPMarkShields
The vast majority of senior politician would agree with this statement and I am sure they are doing all they can to rid themselves of all criminal elements.

Jalapenos
DCP MARK GOOD EVENING I WANT TO KNOW WHY IS THAT THESE JAMAICA CAN NOT LIVING LOVING WITH EACH OTHERE
DCPMarkShields
There is a lot of intolerance throughout the world. Jamaica is no different. We just have to work together to rid ourselves of criminality.

Xrull
Mr. Shields, do you thing the laws in Jamaica need to be changed or amended to bring the criminals to book faster?
DCPMarkShields
We need an effective and efficient justice system. We also need laws in place to attack the vast finances accumulated by organised criminals and dons. We have made a request to the government to speed this request through parliament.

Tiamo
How involve are the politician with organized crime and to what extent are they protecting the gunmen within their constituencies?
DCPMarkShields
I have no evidence of this from my short stay in the country. However I am aware of rumours and third hand stories> I am yet to form an opinion on this.

Code
ARKAN...SIMPLY PUT...THAT'S NOT A FEASABLE IDEA

Guest
DCP Mark Shields, how is it so far working in Jamaica i bet your hands are full right?
DCPMarkShields
I really enjoy my work and I therefore do not find the enormity of the task daunting. I also receive a lot of support from my friends and colleague in Ja.

Lady WarLord GummyBear
Mr Mark Shields what are yours plans as far as helping to lower the crime rate in Jamaica, and do you have a time limit? And if so when the time limit runs outs what do you plan on doing afterwards to help better the island? Another thing, what took you so long?
DCPMarkShields
I have a contract for 4 years and during that time I will do everything I can to make JA. a safer place with a reduced crime rate. I have no idea how long this task will take. I can only make a commitment to work hard to the objectives outlined above.

Ja_yute
My ques is how much has been done since the 3 cop killings and what measures have been put in place???
DCPMarkShields
The investigaton into the tragic deaths of the officers continues. We will bring those responsible to justice. We have put measures I n place to make the community and police officer safer but it would be inappropriate to go into details.

Kingston Man
But Mr. Shields what are the police doing about the extortion racket that is eating away the business sector in Jamaica?
DCPMarkShields
Extortion is a major problem in Ja. especially in the larger towns. The law to tackle extortion is ineffective but we are in discussion with govt and DPP to explore ways in which we can fight it more effective at the top and bottom.

Mandy
Mr. shields i don't know if its possible to do this, but i believe any area that u are not able to have enough policing, u should shut it down, for example, moutain view, that's a wicked place.
DCPMarkShields
The majority of people in mountain view and other communities where there are a lot of violence are good and honest Jamaicans and therefore my focus would be on the men of violence and organised crime. We must allow people the freedom to go about their lawful business.

Unpredicatablegurl
How does it feel being in charge of a police force with a sometimes questionable past?
DCPMarkShields
I come from a police force with a questionable past but we in London learn by our mistakes. I hope i can bring some of that learning to Jamaica.

David24
Will you get the right tools for your men to fight crime?
DCPMarkShields
All police forces request more resources. We need to ensure that we are using what we have more effectively and efficiently. But clearly we do need more.

TRAXIN
Inspector: What type of briefing did you get from Scotland Yard about the link with inner city gunmen and the political directorate in Jamaica. Were you advised that there are truly untouchables in Jamaica, whom the police, the army and the politicians are scared the daylight of?
DCPMarkShields
There is no such thing as an untouchable we just need to work harder to secure the evidence to bring people to court.

Silent whisper
Are there any plans afoot to re train police officer in basic people skills and customer service skills
DCPMarkShields
The police interpersonal skills is an important tool ot gain public confidence. The JCF officers do an extremely difficult and dangerous job but we must be mindful that their approach to a community must be respectful and polite. I would always encurage our officers to act in this way despite frequent provocation.

Mandy
Mr. Shields where are u from???
DCPMarkShields
I am from London, England.

Operationtrafficjam
dcp mark shields top of the day to u sir, let me first introduce myslf to u. I am an ex-police officer form jamaica, and now a serving member in another police force in another jurisdiction. I have spent ten years in the jcf , with all my interest and intention to serve my country, but was force to leave because of the kind of treatment and the way the government sees the police force as though it is not necessary. Do you think that if the police have been paying a better salary it would scale down corruption in the police force?
DCPMarkShields
Low pay is only one symptom of corruption. Another comes from a minority of people who are prepared to offer to the police. Both sides are wrong and undermine all the good work we do. The commissioner intends to root out corrruption at every level.

Ms. DEE
I think Jamaica needs a definite change in strategy and somehow you represent a possibility for that how, do you agree with that?
DCPMarkShields
I think I was invited to work here because I come from a different policing background. I hope that my previous experience will complement the good work already being done by the JCF.

Tiamo
How do you plan to break down the barrier that now exist where in the citizens protect the criminal element and show disdain towards those trying to uphold the law?
DCPMarkShields
That is a difficult process. First we have to demonstrate to the community that we are a police force with integrity. That in itself will boost confidence and persuade people to come forward and help the police.

Realrock
Mr. Shields I know you main focus is on crime but there is a general break down of law and order in Jamaica and one place where it is evident is on the roads...What are some of the things you propose we do to curb this? I know in London they have cameras in strategic locations could u propose this to your local authority?
DCPMarkShields
I totally agree with you. The standard driving in Ja. is poor and traffic laws such as crash helmet wearing on motor cycle is ignored. We need to crack down on motorist offenders in order that we can save lives on the roads.

Gummy1983
As a Jamaican living abroad, I am very concern about crime in the country. I have had numerous conversations with Jamaican retirees in the US who would have loved to retire back home, but because of the problem with crime, they have been turned off. Lost of foreign investment in the country.
DCPMarkShields
The level of crime in Jamaica is unacceptable high. The commissioner and his team will do all they can to reduce this and encourage people to return to Jamaica We want it to be perceived as a safe place. But this will take time and effort by everybody.

Piper36
Mr. Shields, do you think that some troubled spots could be cordoned off by both the JDF and the JCF in tandem so that everybody going in or out of these areas can be searched while the security officers search building by building so at the end of a particular operation we can rest assure that at least one area is clear o illegal weapons thus incidences of illegal activities will be reduced.
DCPMarkShields
Those tactics are already been used already with others I hope to bring to the table.

Fashion Yute
Good Day Mr. Shields there are communities in Jamaica with crime rates above the roof that the Jamaican government is afraid to tackle due to response from the communities riots, roadblocks, fires etc. as well as people who will shoot back at the police, Is the Government gonna continue to live in fear and worry about the result of a raid or do they plan to clean up everywhere?
DCPMarkShields
I think that the govt. is standing up to crime. It is clear from Minister Phillip's budget speech that every effort is being made and will be made to tackle crime head on particularly with level of homicides however it is not just a govt. responsibility. Everybody has a part to play and must play it.

Mandy
Mr. Shields, I believe that some of the crime is cause by non production of the Jamaican citizen, I believe u should use some of those area men, and politicians to help solve the crime.
DCPMarkShields
Poverty and unemployment are of many concern and factor in a high crime rate. Government and community have their part to play in solving this problem.

Jackie Bello~*Low Mi Name*~
Jamaicans need Jesus!!!

Mckenz
Mr. Shields are police numbers adequate for the task
DCPMarkShields
There would always be a cry for more police officers. First and foremost we must ensure that those we already have are deployed effectively and efficiently. The commissioner is keen to reduce the no. of non operational police staff and to deploy them to front line duty wherever possible.

Concern
Good Afternoon Sir I heard that at the time of Bogle's death, the murder was caught on surveillance camera and there is no doubt of who the murder is. How true are that and what steps are being taken to bring the killer/killers to justice.
DCPMarkShields
I am unaware of any surveillance of the actual murder. We continue to investigate this awful crime and will do everything we can to bring the murders to justice.

Fashion Yute
Mark Shields as a foreigner, I worry about my family in Jamaica, from what I see you are making promises as well and letting us know what you will do. EMPTY PROMISES are common among Jamaican officials, prime ministers etc. On what grounds can you say we should believe what you are telling us tonight?
DCPMarkShields
Give me time and judge me by my results. I will do all that I can to support the commissioner and the rest of the JCF in their fight against crime and to make Jamaica a safer place.

Gummy1983
With the advent of the Caribbean being used as a transshipment point for the drug trade, can we ever gain control of the dire situation in the country?
DCPMarkShields
A lot of effort has gone into reducing drug trafficking into Jamaica from South America, some of this work has been conducted by Kingfish and other agencies. We will continue to fight gun and drug trafficking in Jamaica.

Guest
DCPMarkShields continue doing a good job we are all happy that u are helping Jamaica with the crime and violence!!!
DCPMarkShields
Thank you for your kind words. I will do all I can to help this beautiful country.

Xrull
I believe the police need get more modernized detection equipment. The police have to start to dig and dig deep to find the guns. Witness protection is a joke. Look at the young fellow who was killed a few weeks ago after testifying in a murder case that involved his parents. What is the government doing to protect people who have evidence to put the accused person behind bars? What is being done to build up confidence in the police force? Police presence needs to be in the Spanish Town area. The criminals have taken over Spanish Town. Get some heat helicopters and some heat sensing equipment and some Internet cameras in the high crime areas. Are there plans to get the equipment, battons and guns alone do not work in a high tech world.
DCPMarkShields
The traffic death of Thompson was not a result of witness protection programme. We will do all we can to protect witnesses and encourage people to come forward and give evidence. The use of technology will enhance our ability to provide evidence without relying on witnesses.

Sweet sugaplum
I am wondering what do you think about getting ex police commissioner McMillan back in the office?
DCPMarkShields
I think Mr. Mcmillan did a great job and I have spoken to him. I do not believe he has any plans to return to the JCF.

Lady WarLord GummyBear
Why is it that so many cops are being probed? I suggest that once you're being probed you should be stripped of your firearm and all rights as a law enforcer. This is getting out of hand now!
DCPMarkShields
The rules around the suspension of police officers suspected of corruption and crime are weak. The commissioner is working with the govt. in an effort to rid ourselves of corrupt officers.

Ms. DEE
Does that violate anyone's rights to have camera's installed?
DCPMarkShields
No as long as there are guidelines as to their use. The CCTV camera will always protect the majority. Only criminals are in fear of their installation.

Gunna
Why are guns and other contraband intercepted at wharves and other ports paraded for the media and not tracked to their destinations?
DCPMarkShields
Sometimes it is not obvious where these goods are destined. And if allowed to continue into the country may be lost. It is therefore an operational decision to seize them at the point of entry.

Sweetangel22
Mr. Shields, It is a pleasure to have you in Jamaica to assist in combating the crimes going on in the island and I do hope that you will be able to put an end to the illegal guns that are entering the country
DCPMarkShields
Thank you for your words. I will do everything I can to do assist the JCF to stop the flow of guns in Jamaica.

Ak-47
SO MR SHIELDS WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE AK-47`S ON THE STREETS ARE U TRYING 2 GET RID OF THEM
DCPMarkShields
Yes.

Fashion Yute
Mister Shields. There are guns in the island of Jamaica that were not made there. Is it possible that there be a crackdown on shipments and [packages that come to the island that these guns are carried in Barrels/Car parts/ etc.?????????????
DCPMarkShields
Yes. It is very difficult to monitor every package brought into the country. We already have a sophisticated ex-ray machine but more needs to be done to stop the flow of guns and drug into the country. The JCF will work with other agencies both in and outside of Jamaica to achieve this difficult role.

Sandy
Will you agree that the criminals have no respect for anyone, there perception of life is much different from ours, have you considered in reaching to their level to see how they are thinking and what makes them so hopeless?
DCPMarkShields
I agree. But never forget that gunmen also have mothers, sons and daughters.

Kirkharris
Regarding the concern of corrupt politicians linked to criminal activity, are you ready to levy the full force of the law in dismantling their 'cartels'?
DCPMarkShields
The commissioner and the JCF will tackle crime and criminality in any form regardless of colour , creed or politics.

Guest
I think its good what you are trying to do, but Jamaica can never be better with all those criminals.
DCPMarkShields
We all have our part to play in ridding ourselves of the criminals. It will be a hard task and will take great courage. I truly believe together we can win.

Gabfait
Mr. Shields what can be don to put some pressure on the USA government as to how the guns are coming to Jamaica easily the same way they put pressure on Jamaica about drugs why can't they find out where the guns are coming from?
DCPMarkShields
We are working closely with our colleagues in the USA and elsewhere. We will continue to share intelligence and mount operations to arrest those responsible for he importation of guns and drugs.

Guest
Just try to do your best people are depending on you. dont start and then stop
DCPMarkShields
I will do all I can. I love working here. I enjoy being in Jamaica and will support the commissioner in all his efforts to reduce crime.

Sandy
Mr. Shields, are you really appealing to the population of criminals, its seems as if its only the law abiding citizens knows of you and your intention, they do not read news paper nor listen to the radio, so how will they know of these initiatives? Is there another way of reaching to them?
DCPMarkShields
They do. Criminals have their own intelligence-gathering network. They scan the media like the rest of us. They listen to news of their criminal act on TV and on radio. Never underestimate a criminal.

Ms. DEE
How different is working in Jamaica as opposed to previous experiences?
DCPMarkShields
The culture in Jamaica is certainly different although I am used to work with people who originate from Jamaica or in the Caribbean in London. Many of the policing methods that I practice are compatible where ever they are employed.

MaKe 7UP YoURs
Although I did not see my ? It was a good interview
DCPMarkShields
Thank you.

Realrock
Mr. Shields you have a difficult job sir and i wish you all the best however, i don't think we have the political will to combat this monster the way we should
DCPMarkShields
I think Minister Phillips and his colleagues in the PNP and the JLP are determined to rid Jamaica of corruption and crime. That's my experience and I am yet to be proven wrong.

DCPMarkShields
There have been many questions this evening and I have really enjoyed being a guest on the Online Chat room. It demonstrates the amount of interest and concern in Jamaica. Thank you for your support. I can assure you that every officer in the JCF will do all they can to make Jamaica a safer place. Never forget it is a joint effort. We all have our part to play.

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