Fri | Sep 30, 2016

Islandwide weapons audit ordered by Nelson

Published:Tuesday | February 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

WESTERN BUREAU:

As part of a wider initiative to determine how many legal guns are in the hands of Jamaicans - police, licensed firearm holders and gun dealers - National Security Minister Senator Dwight Nelson has ordered an islandwide audit.

"What I have ordered is that the audit team in the Ministry of National Security, which is technically competent in that area, be with the police and be part of the police's effort to audit the stores and storage areas of firearms throughout the island," Nelson told journalists in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday, following his address at the Pre-International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) at the Iberostar Grand Resort.

"Every single place where firearms and ammunition are stored is going to be audited because we must know what weapons, how much ammunition is being stored there, and we are going to do this audit at least twice a year," he said.

"We are going to audit every single area where guns and ammunition are stored, whether it is the armoury at Elletson Road, the police stations, (or) the gun dealers."

Arms seizure

The audit comes in the wake of last Thursday's embarrassing arms seizure on Munster Road in St Andrew, in which a police sergeant assigned to the police armoury has been implicated.

More than 11,000 assorted rounds of ammunition and at least 19 guns believed to have been stolen from the armoury on Elletson Road, Kingston, were recovered.

Acting Police Commissioner Owen Ellington ordered the immediate closure of the police armoury and stores, and reassigned the personnel at the location. Both police and civilian staff were subjected to interrogation and polygraph tests.

"My understanding from the police and from my own ministry's technical persons is that the audits of the stores and police stations and firearms dealers storage rooms are in process and I am awaiting a final report," added Nelson.