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One 'Duppy Film' is worth a hundred ZOSOs

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

As in the oft-quoted phrase “One picture is worth a thousand words”, so, it seems, one 'Duppy Film' is worth a hundred zones of special operations (ZOSOs).

And that is not to suggest that ZOSOs are useless. Quite the contrary, as we have argued in this space.

However, it has been a long time since we have seen such an outpouring of relief at the demise of a gunman as we have witnessed with the killing of Marlon Perry, alias “Duppy Film”, in a shoot-out with police in St Thomas on Sunday.

The security forces have come in for high praise from Jamaicans both at home and abroad for making it possible for many of their compatriots to sleep in peace by their removal of a merciless killer.

In his long reign of terror, Perry, 27, the reputed leader of the Duppy Flames gang, claimed many lives, including two policemen, Corporal Kenneth Davis of the Protective Services Division and Constable Craig Palmer of the Kingston Western Division in 2015.

Perry, named among the 19 most wanted criminals in Jamaica, was clearly well funded and well armed. In two major encounters with the security forces, he and his cronies left behind firepower of the calibre of an AK-47 assault rifle and an Uzi sub-machine gun.

Little surprise, therefore, that he managed to avoid capture for so long, especially after killing two cops.

Last year, during one of several police-military operations to nab him in Harbour View, St Andrew, Perry and two other gang members pulled off a spectacular escape, eluding some 100 members of the constabulary force and 90 members of the army, by crawling their way to freedom in a riverbed north of the community.

The firefight in which he was slain on Sunday at the Alshamar Guest House in Port Morant, St Thomas, took place around 10:40 am – in broad daylight. Apparently, for Duppy Film, he was not going to be taken alive. By contrast, two men, whose identities are being withheld, were taken into custody.

We hope that this operation would reap significant intelligence from the interrogation of the two men, as well as how they came to be at the guest house, who was funding Duppy Film, and where was he holed up for so long.

It is noticeable that information that the gang leader was at the guest house coincided with police upping the reward money from $1 million to $1.5 million for reliable information leading to his capture. News reports said there was immediate speculation that that had paid off.

If that is what it takes to rid this crime-weary country of its bad eggs, then so be it. However, we hope that Jamaicans will not wait for reward money in order to provide information to the police about the whereabouts of criminals.

There is never going to be enoughmoney to pay for the many killers who still walk our streets. We should use occasions like this to resolve to work more closely with the police to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for removing the likes of Duppy Film.