Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Gun-smuggling women, kids on police radar

Published:Tuesday | June 21, 2016 | 6:00 AMPaul Clarke

Since last week, three children have been held in separate incidents for possession of illegal firearms, prompting an assessment by the police to determine if a more widespread pattern is emerging, said the Jamaica Constabulary Force communications officer, Super-intendent Stephanie Lindsay.

"The police are currently looking into these cases, as these are serious cause for concern, so far as children and women are being used as couriers for illegal guns and ammunition. They are being used as go-betweens," Lindsay said.

While such activity is not new in the crime underworld, the police are particularly alarmed that children are once again being used to stymie efforts at nabbing criminals.

On Sunday, a 15-year-old girl was arrested after she was stopped and searched by the police along Marcus Garvey Drive about 5:25 a.m. A Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol and several rounds of ammunition were reportedly found in a bag she was carrying.

The police, through the Get The Guns programme, are reaping some success, with a reported 492 illegal weapons and 7,079 assorted rounds of ammunition recovered since the start of the year.

Area One - comprising St James, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny - continues to lead the way with 155 guns and 1,053 rounds of ammunition seized.

 

TOUGH DIVISION

 

Acting ACP Warren Clarke now heads the tough Area One, which has so far recorded more than 100 murders since the start of 2016, the majority of those murders gun related.

The Kingston Metropolitan Area, comprising Area Four, accounts for 141 guns and 2,557 rounds of ammunition seized since the start of the year, according to police statistics, which also showed that in Area Five (St Catherine North, St Catherine South, St Andrew North and St Thomas), 99 guns and 1,617 rounds have been confiscated.

Area Two (St Ann, St Mary and Portland) accounted for a further 36 guns and 38 assorted rounds of ammunition seized.