COMMISSIONER of Police Major General Antony Anderson has vowed that there will be no let-up in the removal of illegal guns and gangsters contributing heavily to the epidemic of violence in the country.
“What I have seen, as well, is a stick-to-itiveness of officers. I saw a large push on the weekend to cover our roads, routes, and the various urban spaces where we have had problems, and it showed a commitment from our officers that doesn't match this narrative out there that officers are demoralised and are not doing the work. That is not true,” said Anderson.
Anderson was speaking after the operation in the vicinity of the National Stadium East field on Mountain View Avenue in St Andrew, where five firearms were recovered on Monday afternoon.
The police recovered a shotgun, an AK-47 rifle, and a Uzi submachine gun which was followed by the retrieval of another AK-47 rifle and an M16 rifle with sixty 5.56 rounds of ammunition and two magazines found against a wall outside the stadium.
Monday's find adds to the recovery of three rifles — a shotgun, an AK-47 rifle and an Uzi submachine gun — and a cache of ammunition near the Nannyville side of the field in the area on Sunday.
Commenting on the recovery of the firearms, Anderson said, “What it shows is that DCP [Deputy Commissioner of Police] Fitz Bailey and his team are working according to the plan and have delivered today and yesterday in a very significant way.
“As you know, I was on the ground yesterday as well and back on the ground today to see what is happening, and the recoveries are consistent with the intelligence that we had going for this particular operation.”
At the same time, Anderson argued that while shootings are down by 16 per cent and there are also decreases in the crimes of rape, robberies, and break-ins, the country is still being plagued with murders.
“You have criminals out there who are bent on resolving their issues by murder and killing each other and that accounts for the large proportion of the murders that we are seeing. I had a meeting Saturday night with the new CDS (Chief of Defence Staff) to look at some more agile ways in which we can respond jointly when we have flare-ups; as you know once you have a killing, if we don't interrupt it right away, then the reprisals follow,” he said, noting that there had been multiple firearms with rounds of ammunition recovered over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Bailey who was also at the scene of the anti-crime/anti-gang operation, argued that the culture of violence needs to be addressed which will require all Jamaicans to help in the crime fight.
“Crime is not a police problem; it is everybody's business. And what you saw in this operation — the unique way these criminals will go at to conceal their weapons — but we are prepared for the task, as I said yesterday, this is just a foretaste of what is coming,” said Bailey.
He added that a person of interest was arrested on Sunday and that the police will continue to probe the matter.