Spike in Hanover murders linked to lottery scam players

Spike in Hanover murders linked to lottery scam players

Saturday, October 10, 2015

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THE police have linked a spike in murders committed in the western parish of Hanover to criminals involved in the lottery scam.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Assan Thompson said that a total of 46 murders have been committed in the parish since the start of the year.

"This (number of murders), we believe, is extremely high. In fact, it is the first in the history of the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) since we have been keeping records on murder that the parish ( Hanover) would have recorded so many murders," said ACP Thompson.

The police said that, as a result of the spike, members of the island's security forces have not only intensified their presence in the parish, but will be carrying out a number operations to rein in criminals.

"We believe that what is happening in Hanover could have been influenced by the pressure that is being placed (on those) in St James," said the ACP.

In addition to placing greater focus on the parish, authorities have also stepped up their efforts to remove guns from off the streets through the recently launched Get the Guns Campaign.

Police said that a total of 30 guns have been recovered under the initiative which was launched on September 17. Five of those weapons were seized in the East Kingston Police Division and three in St James in the last week.

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams earlier this month said the campaign, which was first announced in July of this year, is geared towards significantly reducing the number of illegal guns and ammunition in the hands of criminals in Jamaica.

"Our intention is to seize illegal guns well above our current average of 600 guns per year," said Dr Williams. "This initiative is needed to help reduce gun violence in Jamaica."

Monetary incentives (rewards) will be offered to people who provide information that leads to seizure of illegal guns and ammunition. Additionally, police officers in divisions that seize the most guns will also receive a cash incentive.

The Police Hgh Command has disclosed that, within the last 10 years, guns have featured in more than 10,000 murders or 75 per cent of the over 13,000 murders recorded during that period. Additionally, about 9,000 Jamaicans have been shot and injured within that period.

Meanwhile, on another matter, the police said they have finalised the date when members of the JCF will leave the island for Haiti as part of efforts to intensify international collaboration against the deadly Guns for Drugs Trade.

"In keeping with our commitment to send personnel overseas as part of the collaboration, a four-member delegation headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Glenmore Hinds will be heading to Haiti early next month to start the collaboration between Haiti and Jamaica," said ACP Thompson.

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