St Catherine South reaps success in crime fight
While its neighbouring police division, St Catherine North, enters week two of a state of emergency imposed to contain runaway crime, St Catherine South has been reaping the benefits of a sustained fight against gangs.
Headquartered at the informally known 'Hundred Man Station' in 2 North, Greater Portmore, the St Catherine South Police Division covers the wide expanse of Portmore in addition to spreading as far as Old Harbour.
The division stretches to Hellshire in the south and also has responsibility for a part of Ferry on the border of St Andrew, as well as the hot spot of Central Village, the gateway to troubled Spanish Town.
Commanding officer Clive Blair pointed to successes
St Catherine South has had by being proactive, targeting criminal outfits such as the Umbrella Gang for the last decade, as well as constant monitoring of coastal areas, roadways, beaches, inlets, harbours and fishing villages to head off the dreaded drugs-for-guns trade with Haiti.
"We have recovered 16 guns since the start of the year, five more than this time last year," he told The Gleaner.
He explained that the men and women under his command have been manning various routes into Portmore, ensuring criminals looking to escape the state of emergency dragnet in Spanish Town and its environs won't infiltrate and blend into
St Catherine South - as occurred when three fleeing members of Montego Bay's G City Gang were found in St Catherine North.
St Catherine South's successes
Below are some of the successes in crime fighting in the St Catherine South Police Division.
- Portmore's most wanted, Romaine Alexander, was held by the St Catherine South special operations team in Greater Portmore in a midday raid earlier this year. He was wanted for absconding bail while on a murder charge, as well as shooting with intent, wounding with intent and illegal possession of a firearm. A handgun was recovered in the operation.
- Waterford, formerly home of the Gaza gang and Lynch Mob, last year experienced a 30 per cent reduction in murders, dropping from 10 to seven, amid a national increase of 20 per cent. Blair said Waterford has come a far way since the days of the Vybz Kartel-led Gaza gang when murders peaked in the community.
- December's conviction of Tedroy Fisher, who was sentenced to consecutive nine-year terms for possession of ammunition was a major success for the St Catherine South police.
High Court Judge Evan Brown described Fisher as "a dealer in death" on his conviction in the Corporate Area Gun Court for possession of 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition seized from him during a joint operation involving the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch and St Catherine South police.