Jamaica News: Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey, says international collaboration is needed to combat the issue of lottery scamming, which has been plaguing the island, particularly the western region.
Mr. Bailey, who is in charge of Crime, was addressing a forum for the presentation of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) Report on Scamming, Gangs and Violence in Montego Bay, at the city’s Cultural Centre in St. James, on September 23.
The report was carried out as part of CAPRI’s ‘Transform Citizen Security A Yaad’ Project.
Mr. Bailey emphasised that if the country is to deal with the issue of transnational organised crime, “there has to be coordination, intelligence, a quest to identify the money, track the money and seize the money. There has to be international collaboration”.
“We have to ensure that there are adequate laws that are enforced and the penalty, in my view, is significant to send the message as well as to take the profit out of the crime,” he said.
The Transform Citizen Security A Yaad Project was done with support from the United Kingdom (UK) Department of International Development (DFID).
The project is aimed at improving the immediate and long-term security of citizens through encouraging coordinated action between relevant government institutions and civil society, informed by research and analysis.
Under this project, CAPRI has conducted research which considers the purported connection between lottery scamming, gangs, and the crime rate in St. James, and reviews the measures that have been taken over the past decade to combat the challenges.
For her part, Researcher at CAPRI, Joanna Callen, who presented findings from the report, highlighted that while lottery scamming continues to be a serious issue in Montego Bay, there are some recommendations that may stem the crime.
“The first is to create agreed measurements and indicators of scamming among all stakeholders, national and international, against which change can be tracked,” she said.
“Second, conduct a comprehensive situation analysis of scamming. This includes gathering first-hand accounts from scammers of the detailed inner workings of the crime, and the links with gangs, perhaps from convicted scammers or from embedded infiltrators into scamming groups or in gangs [involved] in scamming. These new indicators will inform the situation analysis,” Ms. Callen outlined.
She added that the third recommendation is to clarify, align and coordinate all law-enforcement actors and their roles, with their responsibilities in regard to investigating and prosecuting lottery scamming and associated crimes.
“This should stall duplication of efforts, make more efficient use of resources and simplify and improve cooperation with international partners,” Ms. Callen said.
Source; JIS News