Gangsters using local knowledge to evade Westmoreland police
DESPITE THEIR recent success in apprehending high-profile gangsters in the parish, the police high command in Westmoreland remains concerned about the number of criminals who have managed to elude capture by using off-roads to bypass police operations.Addressing an appreciation banquet for police officers in that parish recently, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clifford Chambers, the police commander for the region, said that criminals are using their local knowledge of the environment to aid their almost seamless movements across the areas.
“We are all beset by environmental issues, but what is different with Westmoreland is that we have a proliferation of scammers who are good at what they do.
“You will have side roads, you have back roads, you have intervals, which used to be effective means through which persons who used to cultivate cane use. You have ways and means of getting around the entire parish without touching the main and that adds to the complexity of the challenge,” added Chambers.
He commended the officers for their resilience in carrying out their duties.
ACP Chambers described a relatively successful 2022 during which the police made serious inroads into the operations of some 15 criminal gangs which had taken root in the parish. The Westmoreland police started 2023 quite impressively in terms of arresting known gangsters and their associates.
“When you look across the entire division, of all the major gangs, barring none, all have been impacted by your hard work and the tenacity (with) which you pursue your goals,” ACP Chambers said.
Based on Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) statistics, murders, shootings, robberies, and rape are down by 34, 10, 23, and 79 per cent respectively over the corresponding period last year. Additionally, inroads have been made in dismantling the Dalling Street, Dexter Street, Kings Valley, and Shrewsbury gangs.
The police have attributed their recent success to the zoning of the parish, which has facilitated better use of resources. The parish is zoned as follows: Zone One, Savanna-la-Mar and Whithorn; Zone Two, Frome and Morgan’s Bridge (The Grange Hill area); Zone Three, Darliston and Bethel Town; Zone Four, Negril and Little London; and Zone Five, Whitehouse and Bluefields.