The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has issued a public appeal for returning residents to be more cautious about the people they are employing or doing other transactions with on the island, adding that some are only seeking to get close to them to commit crimes.
“The police are reminding returning residents to do their due diligence before entering into arrangements, as this may minimise their risk of being exposed to persons who may be seeking to get close to them with the intention of victimising them for financial or other gains,” the JCF said in a media release in which it also announced measures aimed at improving security for returning residents.
The police force also urged returning residents to immediately tell the JCF about any threat or crime committed against them.
The JCF said it is also considering the establishment of a service to do background checks, on request, regarding people who returning residents wish to employ.
Meanwhile, in a report published today by the UK Guardian newspaper, former deputy police commissioner Mark Shields said returning residents are being targeted by criminals who think they are rich.
“I’ve always considered them to be an extreme risk,” Shields told the newspaper, adding that the crimes were usually ‘under-appreciated’ by police commissioners.
“There’s a significant risk to returning residents for robbery, fraud and the ultimate crime of murder,” Shields said while he encouraged returning residents to “think very carefully about immersing themselves in local Jamaican culture in a rural community when they haven’t been back that much”.
Meanwhile, it is believed that returning residents were being exploited in the two latest cases of murder in which they fall victims.
Halford Anderson and his wife Florence were murdered in Portland this month after Mrs Anderson told police that she was the victim of a credit card scam, which reportedly resulted in her losing some JA$8 million.
In the other case, returning resident Delroy Walker was murdered in April following a dispute with a local worker about money linked to work done at his St Mary home.