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Operation Resilience nets four illegal guns

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY Senior staff reporter dunkleya@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 16, 2013    

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FOLLOWING a spike in violence in the island's western end, the police yesterday said efforts under Operation Resilience have resulted in arrests and the seizure of four illegal firearms and several rounds of ammunition between St James and Westmoreland over the weekend.

The Constabulary Communications Network (CCN), in a release to the media last night, said the re-focusing of Operation Resilience had netted two nine-millimetre pistols and 17 nine-millimetre cartridges in Cornwall Mountain, Westmoreland, and four men were taken into custody in relation to the seizures. In another operation, it said one-millimetre Browning and five-millimetre cartridges were seized in Bogue Hill, St James, while another was seized along Jarrett Street in the parish.

"We intend to contain and reduce violence in the communities across these parishes. We once more urge citizens, residents and visitors to continue to support the police by sharing what you know about gang members, the crimes they commit and their hide-outs. Amidst the violence of the past week, we are determined to return and maintain order this season and beyond," said assistant commissioner of police in charge of Area One Warren Clarke.

He added that lawmen were once more urging armed suspects to surrender peacefully, so that they could be arrested without injury/harm to themselves, other citizens or the police.

On Saturday, the Police High Command, in a statement, expressed concern about the high incidents of gang-related murders in the St James Division since the start of the week where some 12 lives were snuffed out by ruthless criminals, including a triple murder and two double murders.

In the latest incident, a 36-year-old woman Monique Watson of Rose Heights in St James was shot and killed by a gunman who reportedly walked into her hairdressing parlour and shot her at point-blank range.

The Police High Command said these incidents of violence, stemming from inter-gang feuds and family conflicts, epitomise callous disregard for human life and the propensity of criminal elements to hunt down citizens — children, the elderly and women — murdering them in the broad view of the public. It said the killings dictate the kind of violence associated with that of organised criminal gangs and their criminal pursuits.

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