Jamaica Customs launches “Tell Us” anti-gun campaign

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), a member of the National Security Council and the driving force behind the Jamaican government’s “Get Every Illegal Gun Campaign,” has stepped up its efforts to combat criminal networks that seek to import illegal guns through the country’s controlled borders by launching a new public education campaign.

The “Tell Us” public education program, which begins in November 2022, encourages Jamaicans, locally and in the Diaspora, to report suspicious or criminal activity in Customs-controlled areas.

Velma Ricketts Walker, CEO and Commissioner of Customs, stated that the agency remains “vigilant” and “active” in its fight against the importation of illegal firearms and other contraband, and that it will increase its efforts to combat illegal trade.

She said this is a team effort, emphasizing that “all attempts to address crime and dangers in our society are most effective when they entail strong collaboration between law enforcement entities, communities, and individuals.” As a result, the campaign will strive to collect information from the public, who are invited to phone Crime Stoppers at 311 and submit it to them.”

Walker also stated that the rewards mechanism in place for providing information leading to arrests and convictions is being carried out in collaboration with Crime Stop, which is in charge of the awards program.

“We believe that incentives play a major role in getting people to act,” she added. “Therefore, we are using this rewards mechanism as a driving force to get people to “Tell Us” who are the criminals and corrupters.”

Walker explained that this effort is part of the JCA’s ongoing border protection initiatives.

“We are in the process of establishing a canine unit, additional marine bases, drone technology and a new security vetting programme.”

Meanwhile, Cherise Bruce Douglas, Manager of Crime Stop Jamaica, stated, “Crime Stop is glad to further deepen our collaboration with Jamaica Customs in combating transnational organized crime and other illicit activities that aim to use our country’s ports of entry.”

“With the launch of the campaign with a ‘call to action’ for citizens to share information through Crime Stop’s channels, we anticipate a successful collaboration that will have a positive impact on the overall effort to reduce criminal activities that undermine the efficiency of JCA’s operations and the nation’s security,” Douglas added.

The campaign will use social media, television, print, and radio to spread the phrase “Tell Us.”

Through coordinated border management, the JCA facilitates trade, defends the country’s borders, and optimizes tax collection. Through partnerships, intelligence, and innovative capabilities, it contributes to the nation’s security by predicting and tackling security challenges at the borders and beyond.

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