Get them!

Westmoreland top cop going after gangsters in the parish

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, September 14, 2017



Recently assigned commander of the Westmoreland Police Division, Superintendent Lanford Salmon has vowed to capture gangsters who have been tarnishing the reputation of the parish, now classified as the third-bloodiest of the 19 police divisions.

Gang warfare is said to have significantly influenced the escalating murder tally in the parish, which, up to yesterday morning, stood at 102 since the start of the year. This figure represents some 32 more murders than the 70 reported over the corresponding period last year.

“What I realise is that there are a number of gangs out there, and they continue to have this tit for tat. Intra-gang feud, inter gang feud. As a result of that, we will be targeting the players in the gangs,” Superintendent Salmon emphasised.

“We will be seriously looking at persons who are still engaged in lotto scamming, because we believe that most of the conflicts are derived from lottery scamming. The earnings from it, and so on, cause problems. So, that is our main order of business for Westmoreland.”

The Kings Valley gang in Morgan's Bridge; the One Link gang and Sparta Rebel in Negril; the Venomous Vipers; the Far Out Rebel in Bethel Town; the Dexter Street and Darling Street gangs in Savanna-la-Mar, the Bloody Eye gang in Bethel Town and the 100 Round gang in Negril are said to be some of the gangs operating in the parish.

Pointing out that illegal guns are the preferred choice of weapons used to perpetuate the carnage in the parish, Superintendent Salmon is bent on disarming the shooters.

“Another serious concern of the police is the number of firearms that is seemingly in the parish, the number of guns. As a matter of fact, most of the murders are committed by guns. Soon as there is a conflict with a man, they shoot. So we will have to take away some of those guns from the criminal elements,” he sternly cautioned.

And noting that the police have been reaping moderate success in the recovery of illegal guns, the Westmoreland police commander said there are plans to get more of the lethal weapons out of the hands of criminals.

He noted that the team members will continue to scour the borders of the parish to prevent more illegal guns from leaking through. He, however, contended that guns from outside of Westmoreland are making their way into the parish, other than through the shorelines.

“We continue our surveillance along the seashore, and so on, but I don't believe that that is the main conduit. There are other conduits, surprisingly, which I won't say at this time,” Superintendent Salmon underscored.

Westmoreland is renown for its large number of motorcyclists and Superintendent Salmon remarked that they are the main means of transportation for criminals who are mainly located in the hot spots of Dexter, the Darling Street area, Russia, Twelve Street, Negril, Grange Hill and Bethel Town.

“So it's widespread, and it just takes the commitment of the men and women of the JCF, and of course the military, to bring back some order,” said the superintendent.

“My first order of business is to try and see how well we can reduce murder and shootings in Westmoreland. Presently it is too much. Since January 1, there have been too many murders and shootings in the parish,” he emphasised.

He noted that motivating his staff, working with citizens, and restoring public order are among some of his objectives.

Recently, members of the business sector, including Russel Hammond, former Jamaica Labour Party candidate, expressed concerns over the high wave of criminality in the parish, which he said, has been negatively impacting business.

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