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Task Force Hands Over Equipment to Tackle Trafficking in Persons

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The National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) on December 12, handed over equipment to help in the public education, intelligence gathering and general operations of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons/Intellectual Property Vice Squad.

Speaking with JIS News, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Commanding Officer for the Organized Crime Investigation Division (OCID), Clifford Chambers, said the equipment was well needed and will help to improve their efficiency.

“I can see how the equipment will immediately be brought into operational policing to deal with trafficking in persons and other offences akin to trafficking in persons,”  he noted.

The NATFATIP handed over a range of computers and electronic equipment, including tablets, laptops, camcorders, digital cameras, laptop and tablet cases, as well as a projector and a screen.

Having expressed gratitude for the donation, the Head of OCID also used the opportunity to highlight that there has been significant progress in cases of human trafficking and a remarkable reduction, when compared to last year.

“Last year, we had over 21 raids, this year we did over 32 raids and we have launched 37 investigations which resulted in the interviewing of 185 persons. These investigations have led to other operations for which we really need resources to effectively carry out those tasks,” SSP Chambers said.

Meanwhile, the Head of OCID said he is hopeful that Jamaica’s next rating for human trafficking will improve, given the initiatives and activities that have been implemented and are still in effect.

He noted that his team has launched several initiatives which have resulted in a slight reduction in the operations involving brothels, sex houses, and advertisement for massage parlours.

The Commanding Officer   highlighted the importance of the prosecutorial aspect of human trafficking efforts, an area outlined in the United States (US) Department of State report to be improved by Jamaica.

“Given the nature of these offences and the international implications they have, there probably needs to be consideration for having a court that specifically hears these matters,” the OCID Head said.

The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force is the policing unit that targets persons who are trafficked. It also targets prostitution, persons who have been exposed to ‘modern day slavery’ which involves sex and forced labour. The unit also goes after persons at the helm of these activities as well as networks and associates involved.

By Shelly-Ann Irving

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