Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Primary suspect in St James gang flare up nabbed - police

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 3:59 PM
In this file photo crime scene investigators examining a car in which four gunmen, who challenged them in a high-speed chase and gun battle in Montego Bay were travelling before it crashed in a wall.

Minister of National Security, Robert Montague, has congratulated the security forces for successfully capturing the primary suspect as well as another person of interest in the latest flare up of gang violence in St James. 

Montague says the motor vehicle used in some of the incidents has also been seized by the police.

He says the apprehensions come in the wake of the additional deployment of police and military personnel in St James since last night which has also resulted in a containment of the situation.

The national security minister says the build up of security personnel will continue into the weekend noting that the National Reserves have also been called out to boost the security presence in St James as well as in other hot spots across the island.

“We did not come to this place overnight, but we will recover our public spaces, but as a nation we must redouble our efforts to correct some of the social and economic shortcomings if we are to once and for all permanently deal with crime and violence in this nation”, added Montague.

Montague is calling on residents to cooperate with the security forces, who have been urged to observe and respect their rights and welfare.

“I have been assured by the Commissioner of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff that all security personnel have been adequately briefed on how to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism when engaging with citizens”, said Montague.

Residents in affected communities are encouraged to call into a dedicated telephone number to share in confidence with senior police officers, whatever they know about the recent shootings.

The dedicated telephone number is 952-4396, which will be manned by senior police officers.

The increased police and army presence in the trouble spots, the curfew, which has been in force in Glendevon District since Thursday September 22, from 6 p.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday September 24, and the cordon and search operations, are but three of the intelligence-led tactical operations being pursued by the police.

A meeting with leaders and stakeholders in Montego Bay and surrounding communities has also been called by Assistant Commissioner in charge of Area 1, Warren Clarke to enlist the support of leaders and stakeholders in St James.

Montague has encouraged all residents in St James to attend the meeting.

“I call upon all law-abiding citizens to set their faces against the hoodlums and criminals, and refuse to be paralysed by fear. Tell what you know to the police; cooperate with them in the interest of your personal security, and that of your community, and download and use the Stay Alert App”, said Montague.