Dangerous 'One Order' concept spreading, says senior cop
THE term One Order has for years been associated with an organised criminal network based in sections of Spanish Town, St Catherine, but according to acting Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations Glenmore Hinds, the dangerous concept has been spreading like wildfire across the country.
"The One Order is a criminal gang but it is much more than that. It is a dangerous concept that is taking place in Jamaica and it is bringing disparate gangs under one fold, one order, under one umbrella," Hinds told editors and reporters at the Observer's weekly Monday Exchange.
Police investigators report that imitation One Order gangs have sprung up in the parishes of St James and Trelawny, while 'branches' of the original gang have been established in the towns of Linstead and Old Harbour in St Catherine, May Pen, Clarendon and in Manchester.
The One Order gang is fiercely loyal to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party and was formed in Spanish Town in response to the Klansman gang which supports the People's National Party.
Slain gang leader, Oliver 'Bubba' Smith, organised all gangs that were based in JLP strongholds under 'One Order" in 2000.
According to a Spanish Town-based cop, Smith got the idea from the criminally efficient way another gang based in West Kingston was operating.
"He saw the control and influence that criminal organisation had and decided to follow suit. Initially there was some resistance to the effort but he managed to strong-arm his way into controlling them and organising a ruthless gang," the cop said.
Smith managed to influence gangs from JLP strongholds such as Shelter Rock, Thompson Pen, Dempshire Pen, Homestead, Chambers Lane Featherbed Lane and other communities which ran off March Pen and Old Harbour roads into one criminal organisation, with his home base of Tawes Pen and Ellerslie Pen as the headquarters.
In the weeks following the Local Government Election in 2002 which was won by the JLP, the 'One Order' and Klansman gangs engaged each other in a bloody battle in Spanish Town for control of the extortion rights to the municipal bus park.
Smith was fatally shot in the head with a high-powered rifle along Festival Road in St Andrew in June 2004.
Now police say other like-minded persons have drawn inspiration from the exploits of the One Order gang and have begun to follow suit.
"If we don't move to dismantle these gangs then it is going to be hell in this country," one cop, who did not wish to be named, told the Observer.
Police in Portmore said criminal elements in that well-populated section of St Catherine were rapidly following suit and have begun to form a gang known as the Umbrella Gang.
Police in the St Catherine South Division said the gang is suspected of committing several murders and shootings since last year.