DEPUTY Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey is calling on Jamaicans for help with information that can lead to capturing the more than 200 wanted criminals, saying the police cannot actively conduct crime-fighting efforts on their own.
“I want to appeal to these individuals who are wanted by the police to turn themselves in. I also want to appeal to their relatives to encourage them to surrender to the police, and to citizens within the various communities to encourage these individuals to report or hand themselves in to the police,” said Bailey, who was addressing a police press conference at the NCB Towers in Kingston on Thursday.
“Religious groups, pastors, justices of the peace, and even attorneys at law, I encourage you to encourage these individuals to surrender to the police,” he added.
In his address, Bailey listed more than 80 wanted criminals who are wanted for serious offences such as shooting, rape, murder and wounding.
Bailey also added that the criminals are very dangerous, armed and will shoot and kill.
At the same time, he described Jamaica's crime level as intolerable and abnormal as there is a continuation of vicious, gruesome and brutal acts of violence by criminals.
“What we are seeing in Jamaica is the use of threat or violence to create fear and intimidation, not just with the direct victim but among the wider society. The underlying objective, in my view, is for economic benefits, turf control and status,” said Bailey.
Crime statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) website showed that, up to January 26 this year, there have been 120 murders and 79 shooting incidents.
Reflecting on the criminal activities seen in the country, Bailey asked whether some of them were in support of an ideology.
“We talk about political and religious ideologies, but is there any room for us to focus on economic ideologies? When a person uses force to intimidate businesses to conform to their requests for economic benefits and a failure to comply with the edicts of these criminals, it can result to serious consequences, including the burning down of businesses, violent attacks against workers and family members of these businesses,” Bailey argued.
“What do we classify these as? I will not seek to put a classification on it but I wish that all well-thinking Jamaicans will do a reflection and ask ourselves what are we faced with and how are we going to deal with the responsibilities? We are the police and we are not backing down from our responsibilities. We have a responsibility to ensure that this nation is secure. We have a responsibility to ensure that the citizens enjoy an environment that is free from crime and the fear of crime, but there are some institutional issues that must be dealt with and these are outside of the scope of the police, and I believe that the joint approach that we see is relevant,” he added.
In the meantime, the deputy commissioner of police said two persons of interest were being questioned in connection with the recent seizure of firearms in Jarrett Lane, Mountain View Avenue in St Andrew.
“We are talking about someone who repairs firearms. I know it was a blow to the criminal underworld in terms of identifying people to provide that level of support. This man provided support right across the island; he operated like a ghost for many years and a lot of intelligence work led to us identifying him and led to that significant success,” he said of one of the men.