Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Cops nab wanted men in St Catherine North state of emergency

Published:Sunday | March 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Members of the Jamaica Defence Force search passengers of this Coaster bus at Twickenham Park, St Catherine, yesterday. The soldiers were part of a strong detachment of security-force personnel who were implementing the state of public emergency which the prime minister declared for the St Catherine North Police Division.

Three wanted persons were among a group of more than 60 men picked up by the police in St Catherine yesterday, following Prime Minister Andrew Holness' declaration of a state of public emergency in the St Catherine North Police Division.

The state of public emergency, which took effect yesterday morning, also impacts adjoining areas in St Catherine, including Bog Walk, Spanish Town and Central Village.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Derrick Knight, who is in charge of the Area Five police, said that of the 48 murders recorded in St Catherine North up to yesterday, 36 were believed to have stemmed from infighting within the Clansman gang.

As a result, he told The Gleaner that the police and military would be going all out to locate 20 main violence producers in the parish. He said reputed leader of the Clansman gang, Tesha Miller, is also being sought by the police.

He appealed to citizens to ensure they have proper identification in order to speed up the process of verification at various checkpoints over the 14-day period the operation is expected to last.

"The Clans gang is the gang giving us most problems. In each division, cutting across

St Catherine North and South, we have identified at least 10 persons per division that are priority on our wanted list. These are persons influencing crime in the space. Extortion is high on the list. We might have to put them on ID parade, but we are interested in them," Knight revealed.

"Citizens have been cooperative. Some persons are a bit concerned about delays, but we are asking for general cooperation. Walk with your identification and be receptive. We have the parish basically locked, in terms of points of inspection, points of search and a number of operations are going on," he said.

In Central Village and the St John's Road area, The Gleaner witnessed police and army pulling over and searching a number of private and public passenger vehicles, along with their passengers, many of whom told The Gleaner they welcomed the security initiative.