Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkis, head of Area Four - deportees

Recent deportees are not major contributors to our crime rate – Police

The police are seeking to dismiss assertions that persons deported to Jamaica in recent years are significant contributors to the country’s high crime rate.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkis, head of Area Four, said the police have not been able to accurately link deportees to criminal activities.

He was speaking with journalists on Wednesday at Mobile Reserve headquarters in Kingston, where a batch of Jamaicans deported from the United Kingdom was processed.

“I would at this time not want to ascribe contribution of deportee as a group to criminal occurrences. I am sure from time to time our statistics have indicated maybe a few persons, who in the past have been deported, have come up in the column, but I am not prepared at this time to ascribe numbers nor to index deportees in the criminal sense at this time,” declared ACP Watkis.  

He said some deportees, in fact, have been victims of criminal activities.

The 32 Jamaicans sent back to the island from the UK arrived at Normal Manley International Airport on Wednesday.

The group consists of 26 males and six females.

Various infractions

Meanwhile, ACP Watkis said the Jamaicans were deported for various infractions.

“In the broader sense, they are saying issues of immigration related matters and we’re also aware of some drug related issues and a few criminal related issues in relation to individuals among the group.

“In all those categories, we are able to progress the determination of how each individual will be treated, consistent with established SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures),” he said.

According to the senior cop, the deportees who have been assessed to be a threat to public safety will be monitored.

“Where it has become necessary to identify and ensure the monitoring of any individual, and that is determined based on the nature of any allegation that is attached to these individuals, there are established processes both legal and law enforcement initiative processes and in all instances where they become necessary, they will and they have been applied,” ACP Watkis insisted.

More than 100 Jamaicans have been sent back to the island from the UK since the last mass deportation of 42 persons in September.

Between 2012 and 2015 more than 8,000 Jamaicans were deported from various countries.

The US has the highest number of deportations to Jamaica.


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