Going after cellular thieves - Police to get equipment to trace stolen phones
The Ministry of National Security is to spend US$45,000 to provide the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with technology to allow the police to go after persons who steal cellular phones.
Security minister Robert Montague yesterday noted that an estimate 2,400 cellular phones are stolen across the island each year.
According to Montague, with a conservative estimate of $10,000 for each phone, the robbers are getting away with about $24 million.
"It is an entry-level crime, and the person who steals a cell phone, I'm sure, they are stealing other things, and so with this investment by the ministry, we will be able to retrieve stolen cell phones," said Montague.
He said that the equipment should be in the island within the next six to eight weeks, and after a training period, the system will be launched in a limited geographical space.
"In addition to that, the ministry will be launching a website so persons can register their phones, so if your phone is stolen and you are outside of the zone we are operating in initially, we can lock down the phone so that it just becomes a paperweight for the person who would have stolen it," said Montague.
He said that this is one of the low-hanging fruits to be tackled by the security ministry and the police as part of efforts to renew public confidence in the JCF and increase the use of technology by the police.
"We are confronted with an extremely high murder rate, and this ministry and this administration have a singular purpose ... to deal with our crime situation," said Montague as he announced that the three-day Cabinet retreat which ends today, has focused on the allocation of resources to the national security system.
"The ministry will continue, Commissioner, to provide the resources that you seek to exercise your mandate as commissioner to protect the people of Jamaica," added Montague.