Click here to print page

Crooks on motorcycles to be targeted

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 08, 2019

THE police are going to be introducing special covert operations to collar robbers who are plaguing Jamaica on motorcycles.

This has already started, but will be intensified over the next eight weeks as part of a new security strategy to reduce the accusatory crimes, which have marred the holidays for scores of Jamaicans over the years.

There have been several reports of individuals, mainly men, travelling on motorcycles and grabbing phones and other property since the start of this year, but Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson says these robbers will be specially targeted in the new eight-week drive now under way.

“There are a number of cases and leads that we are following-up in this regard. There are a few strategies that we are going to employ, and forgive me if I am not going to say what they are right here and now, but we should start to see some effect [and] you will see when we start having these court cases coming later.

“I know this is a concern of our citizens and this is another focus area in a public order, public safety perspective, but also in how we allow people to go about their business over the next two months,” said Anderson.

The police commissioner was addressing a media briefing, which he shared with Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade at Jamaica House yesterday, to announce plans to beef up security in the weeks leading to and after the holiday period.

Responding to a question, Anderson argued that there was no problem in telling the crooks on motorcycles that the police will be coming after them because there is a need to strike a balance between informing the public and maintaining some sort of operational security.

“I can say that we are going to be increasing our covert presence in a number of spaces, within these public spaces, but also on public transportation. Now, whether the bad guys want to know this now or not, doesn't make a difference. The concern would be if I say where and when it is going to happen,” argued Anderson.

He said there has been a reduction in the number of bike riders committing robberies in some spaces recently, particularly New Kingston, based on initiatives by the police and these will continue.

“We have some investigations running at the same time as we are doing the immediate operations to deal with this. So there are a suite of responses that we will be doing with this, and you should see it go down.

“The challenge that always comes with motorcycles is stopping them, but there are also some measures we can use in that regard,” added Anderson.

In the meantime, the commissioner said members of a new police quick response motorcycle-based team will be graduating in western Jamaica today, to operate in and around Montego Bay, and this will be duplicated in other areas.

“They will be focusing on creating that safe space and responding quickly,” said Anderson.