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VIDEO: School or war?

Majority of deadly weapons seized in crime clampdown taken from students

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 10, 2013    

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Police yesterday displayed more than 1,000 knives, 250 ice picks, over 200 scissors and several home-made firearms among a vast array of deadly weapons seized over the last six months, mostly from school students.

The items, which also included 10,000 bootleg DVDs, were seized during a series of operations in downtown Kingston and were placed on display at the Elletson Road Police Station in Kingston.

Commanding officer in charge of the Motorised Police Division, Stephenson Green, expressed concern about the items taken from the students.

He declined to reveal the names of the schools attended by the students and also withheld the number of students apprehended during the clampdown.

"We cannot divulge all of the information at this time, but too many students are being found with weapons and I seriously believe that if this problem is not addressed we are going to have some serious problems," said Green.

He said the problem needed a collective response from parents working more closely with teachers and other stakeholders.

"More entities need to come on board to get a more wholesome approach. The level of management in schools needs to be strengthened," he said. "The schools need to be firm. If your child is caught more than one time doing the same thing, then some actions need to be taken."

Green also urged school administrators not to sweep the problems under the carpet when they were identified.

He said there are times when searches are conducted and students are not found with the weapons as they were stored at locations near the schools.

"They may not carry it to school, [but] by the time they leave the schools they are properly armed," Green said.

However, he warned that the police will be relentless in their efforts to rid the streets of weapons.

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