New police Guns-for-Trade Taskforce established
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) today outlined a number of strategies to be used this year to build on the 16 per cent decline in murders and other serious crimes last year.
One of those initiatives is the formation of a Guns-for-Trade Taskforce.
That formation will be mandated to end what Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams describes as the arms race between criminal gangs.
Addressing journalists today during his first press conference since taking over as Police Commissioner, Dr Williams said other key elements of his anti-crime strategy include the dismantling of criminal gangs, renewed emphasis on community policing and increased deployment of police personnel.
Last year, Jamaica recorded 1,005 murders, 195 fewer than the 1,200 murders recorded the previous year.
Despite the decline, the police commissioner conceded that the 1,005 murders recorded last year was still too high.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner in charge of crime Glenmore Hinds says the new taskforce has already identified 21 syndicates that are involved in the guns-for-drugs trade.
Hinds says the police will also use the anti-gang legislation to go after criminal gangs saying more than 400 investigations are already being undertaken.
He says by the end of the year the police expect to arrests more than 500 gang members and dismantle some of the most feared gangs.
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