Gangs still responsible for most murders in 2016
Acting Commissioner Grant informs that nine murders were committed by mob violenceThursday, January 12, 2017
Despite a slight decrease in the number of gangs operating in Jamaica, gang activities still accounted for the majority of the 1,350 murders committed last year in Jamaica. The police claim that 65 per cent of these murders were linked to gangs.
This was announced on Wednesday by Acting Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant at a press conference where she further disclosed that the police have listed 258 criminal gangs – four less than in 2015. The gangs, she said, are concentrated in St Catherine North and South, St James, Clarendon, Kingston West, St Andrew South and Westmoreland.
"The National Strategic Anti-Gang Unit made steady progress; impacting over 20 gangs in 2016 mainly through arrests and proferring charges, some of which resulted in convictions," Grant said while highlighting that 356 gang members were arrested.
"One of the major gangs that was impacted was the One Order gang, which is based in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
"Three members of this gang were convicted: Everton Minott received a sentence of 20 years, Rohan Hope - 12 years, and Richard Shelley - five years," Grant told assembled journalists at police headquarters in Kingston.
The acting commissioner then gave the commitment of the police to continue working against the gangs.
"We want gang members to know that we know who you are, we know the major criminal suspects and we will continue to pursue you relentlessly until you are caught and brought to justice. The convictions that I spoke about proves that we can do it and we will be doing it," Grant stressed.
The acting commissioner then informed that: "384 or 28.4 per cent of last year’s muders were attributed to non-gang activities. These were murders committed during conflicts by people who are not gang members. Domestic murders also fall within this category and accounted for 61 murders. This is where intimate partners and family members kill each other over simple things."
Though the reasons for 71 murders have not been ascertained, Grant who gave her a commitment to solving these cases, disclosed that nine instances of mob violence were recorded last year.
Guns still remained the weapon of choice for Jamaicans as 1,094 (81 per cent) murders were committed using guns. Knives were used in 116 murders, while other unnamed weapons were used to commit 140 murders.