Gun, ammo seized; 30 detained in the west

Gun, ammo seized; 30 detained in the west

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, May 02, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James – A firearm and several rounds of ammunition were recovered by members of the security forces during state of emergency (SOE) operations in the parish of Westmoreland yesterday morning.

States of emergency were imposed in the parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland on Tuesday.

“We have seized a semi-automatic pistol and several rounds of ammunition in Broughton district, Little London,” head of the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick told the Jamaica Observer last night.

“We are processing a total of 30 persons who have been picked up across the three parishes,” Garrick added. “Persons picked up will be released within 24 hours unless we have further investigative interest in that person.”

Garrick said the security forces have a customer service telephone line for persons who want to contact the police for information about the SOE.

The anti-crime measure was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during an early-morning news conference at Jamaica House, hours after police and soldiers established checkpoints in the three parishes.

The announcement was generally welcomed by people living and operating businesses in the three parishes, while the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) said that whereas it is Government's prerogative to declare SOEs, only lasting results will pronounce on their efficacy and effectiveness.

Since last December the PNP has been taking heavy flak for voting against a further extension of the SOE in areas that were being plagued by high crime – St James, St Catherine North Police Division, as well as Kingston Western and St Andrew South divisions.

The Government had gone to Parliament hoping to secure a further three-month extension of the SOE, which was generally accepted as effective in reducing crime, particularly murders.

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