THE police high command says it is concerned about the increase in fatal shootings since the start of the year when compared to the same period last year.
“An analysis conducted into fatal shootings since the start of the year indicates that this is as a result of improved intelligence-led operational initiatives such as Operation Blue Storm and our nationally coordinated Vehicle Check Point Operations, which have been implemented to curb the movement of armed criminals and the violence they produce, and to prevent a repeat of the spike in murders experienced this time last year,” the high command said in a statement.
It said against this background, these operations have resulted in increased contact with criminal elements.
“On many of these occasions, they resort to unprovoked attacks on police personnel, resulting in shootouts, which lead to them being injured or killed and police officers being injured.”
It said the ruthlessness of criminals has continued into the new year, as exemplified by some particularly gruesome cases, including the brutal murder of eight-year-old Imani Green, a British national who was visiting the island and who was mercilessly slaughtered in front of family members, and the murders of Mr. and Mrs. Rambaran, a hardworking couple from St. Catherine, who after closing their business late one evening last week and returning home, were pounced upon by criminals who killed them.
“Criminals butchered the well-known and loved businessman Melvin Chung, a man whose entrepreneurship provided jobs for over five hundred Jamaicans, and supported the livelihoods of many more.
“There is also the case of the Chinese businessman who, in broad daylight, was shot to death in May Pen, Clarendon by gunmen who robbed him, and later brazenly turned their weapons on a party of police officers who responded to the call for help,” the high command said.
It said as members of the constabulary continue to confront those who are responsible for these kinds of gruesome crimes, it must be anticipated that the superior training and discipline of the security forces will prevail.
“The police high command repeats its appeal to the members to continue performing their duties with utmost professionalism and respect for the rights of all, and urges them to exercise restraint, even in the face of danger, knowing that they do so with the full backing of the high command,” it said.
“We urge citizens to continue to support the police in the lawful execution of their duties. We are also appealing to all Jamaicans, including the human rights lobby groups, to turn their voices of influence towards these ruthless criminals, and appeal to them to stop slaughtering and maiming their fellow citizens and attacking the police when they stand in the lawful defence of the citizens.”