Cops want to bar crime suspects from going home
The Police High Command has served notice that it is contemplating going to court to seek civil injunctions to bar suspected criminals from going back to their communities.
Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said the injunctions would also be used to deny suspected criminals access to "critical facilities" used in the commission of crime, "so their continued presence and operations in the communities, that generate criminal activities can be curtailed".
Sociology lecturer Horace Levy told The Gleaner after yesterday's announcement that the police were already preventing a number of reputed gangsters from returning to their communities, but questioned whether such actions could be lawfully enforced.
"You have every right to be where you want to be as a citizen of this country. There is something called freedom of movement," Levy pointed out.
He also questioned whether the police would be able to effectively monitor persons barred from their communities.
"These guys will obey to an extent, but they will sneak back in under the cover of darkness," he reasoned.
Deputy Commissioner Carl Williams, who heads the crime portfolio, said the police have already identified several persons who would be subjected to the injunctions.
However, Williams underscored that the police were carrying out the research to determine whether this course of action would be lawful.
The proposed use of civil injunctions was one of several initiatives announced by the High Command as part of its push to stem the recent upsurge in murders and shootings.
Since the start of the year, the police have reported more than 924 persons killed, a six per cent increase when compared to the 869 murders reported for the corresponding period last year.
With the upsurge in murders and shootings in the last four weeks, the police say the country was averaging four murders per day.
However, since the launch of its new police effort, Operation Resilience, Ellington said the average number of murders has declined to just over two per day.