Police going after crime bosses
Specialised teams of police investigators have been established to go after crime bosses.
Among the persons being targeted, declared Selvin Haye, deputy commissioner in charge of crime, are the financiers behind the illegal importation and distribution of firearms, as well as those involved in drug trafficking.
"We will be building more and better enterprise cases to tackle this type of crime and criminality. We will be using specialised teams now armed with better investigative skills and analytical capabilities to track these criminals," Haye said.
"Not only will we be going after the persons who are shooting our citizens, but we will also be going after those who are influencing the crime, the people who are facilitating the illegal importation of firearms and the trafficking of firearms," he insisted.
Major crime producers
The deputy police commissioner revealed, too, that part of the strategy to tackle the country's crime problem is to target the major crime producers across the island.
Since the start of the year, 1,404 persons have been murdered, 267, or 25 per cent, more than was recorded over the corresponding period last year and surpassing the 1,350 murders recorded for all of last year.
Haye, who was speaking during a press conference to update the country on measures being put in place to stem the escalating murder rate, listed the names of five persons who he described as major figures in the criminal underworld.
They are Charles Hamilton, also called 'Thuggie Thuggie', who operates in St Mary; Ryan Peterkin, also called 'Ratty', who is based in St James; Nico Walters, popularly known as 'Speckles', who is based in Clarendon; Davion Brown, also known as 'Baltie', who operates in Westmoreland; and Shaneil Luton, who is from St James.
"They are our five most violent crime producers. These are men who are involved in multiple shootings, murders, and confrontation with the security forces," he said.
Police Commissioner George Quallo, who also addressed the media, said that the Jamaica Constabulary Force had scored some major successes this year with the killing of a number of wanted men in several parishes but acknowledged that those achievements had been overshadowed by the number of murders recorded.
"We are seeing significant progress being made, and we are confident that we will soon see greater impact on our crime situation, and all we ask is for the citizens of Jamaica to come fully on board," Quallo insisted.