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Police seeking permanent home for Mobile Reserve out west to stem crime

Published:Friday | October 2, 2015 | 10:30 PM
Bunting ... When you have violent criminals in a parish, you can’t ask just any and any police personnel to go and tackle them.

WESTERN BUREAU: 

National Security Minister Peter Bunting says the Jamaica Constabulary Force is to establish a permanent location in western Jamaica to respond to the rising incidents of gun-related crimes in Hanover, Westmoreland and St James.

According to Bunting, the periodic engagement of Mobile Reserve cops in the west is not sufficient.

"It has reached the stage where the criminals know when they are around – they keep their heads down and they keep low," Bunting said, seeking to justify the consideration for a permanent base for the Mobile Reserve in the west.

Bunting who was speaking at consultation on crime in Lucea Thursday evening said in the meantime, some members of the Mobile Reserve will be based at the Falmouth Police Station which can accommodate around 200 cops.  

"But we are looking for somewhere in the Montpelier area that would be central for the parishes in Area One, for certain the three hotspot areas," Bunting said, calling this a medium-term plan.

He said given the kinds of weapons some criminals possess, only highly-trained cops can be deployed to engage them. 

"When you have violent criminals in a parish, the truth of the matter is that some of them are armed - not just with 9-millimetres or revolvers.  Some have AK-47 assault rifles… you can’t ask just any and any police personnel to go and tackle them," he said.

"So we generally look at persons who specialize in that type of operation – people from the Mobile Reserve; people from the Area Operations and Divisional Operations team; people who are well trained and operationally ready,” he added.