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Jamaica: Many women police recruits find height bar too tall to clear

Spanish Town resident Annaleise Steen was hoping to make her father proud by getting recruited into the police force, but although she has the academic qualifications, her height has crushed that dream.

The 20-year-old was among scores of applicants, mostly women, who were turned away when they showed up at Spanish Town High School in St Catherine on Saturday for a Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) recruitment drive.

The police force is in a race against time to bolster its numbers by 50 per cent – from 12,000-plus to 18,000 by 2024 – to salve concerns about an epidemic of murders that, up to May 19, had reached 514, one per cent higher than the toll in 2020.

At 5 feet 4 inches, Steen was just one inch shorter than the required height for female recruits. In 2018, she was turned down because she did not have the academic qualifications.

That disappointment pushed her to go back to school and get qualified. But as she exited the school compound on Saturday, she did so with the intention to write Commissioner of Police Antony Anderson to appeal for a height waver.

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