Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer
THE TRELAWNY police have increased their operations in targeting gangs in the parish.
Operational officer attached to the Trelawny police Anthony McLaughlin told a recent parish council meeting that the parish has seen a reduction in murders committed this year as a result of the efforts of the police in restricting the operating space of gang members.
McLaughlin said the police have adopted a multi-faceted approach, which is largely centred on determining who is financing the gangs.
"The costs for firearms are very high, so there is a strong belief that someone is providing money to enable these gang members to afford the kind of guns and ammunition we are seeing out there," the senior cop stated. He disclosed that only 15 murders were committed this year in comparison to 18 for the same period last year.
break-ins on the increase
McLaughlin revealed that house break-ins in residential areas were on the increase in certain sections of the parish.
In the meantime, councillor for the Ulster Spring division Dr Pauline Foster questioned whether the police have an intervention programme aimed at youths who are vulnerable and become easy targets to be recruited for gang activities.
The operational officer, in his response, disclosed that such initiatives are done through the schools; however, there was no organised community-based endeavours. He said councillors could play a vital role in establishing such a programme.
Meanwhile, councillor for the Wakefield division Jonathan Bartley highlighted the need for an additional vehicle at the Wakefield Police Station. Bartley said the officers stationed there were having difficulties responding to criminal activities.