FIFTEEN days into the new year, Jamaica has recorded more than 40 murders, a trend that is worrying to Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson.
Anderson has vowed to recruit more members, the use of technology and other crime-fighting tools such as zones of special operations (ZOSOs) to break the momentum of murderous criminals.
The commissioner told the Jamaica Observer Friday at his office in St Andrew that St James, Westmoreland and Hanover have join Kingston and St Andrew, and St Catherine as parishes of major concern to the police in 2022.
“I am concerned about what is happening but it doesn't stop at a concern. We are going to respond, make no mistakes about it. We have some specific plans we are creating to push back on the people committing the violence in Jamaica. The spillover from St James and Westmoreland creates a problem in Hanover in the western end.
“Largely in the southern crescent, we have Kingston and St Andrew police divisions [posing a problem]. It basically spans from Six Miles to Bull Bay. The southern crescent is an issue and as you know we just put in a zone of special operations in Central Kingston.
“We are seeing some issues in St Catherine North and South. St Catherine North started the year with a gang conflict at 31 St John's Road. We have moved some assets there to bring things down. Westmoreland is something we are moving on it. I deployed additional officers in Westmoreland and we are looking to reinforce the leadership team down there,” Anderson said.
Without revealing strategies, the commissioner hinted that specific plans are being created to push back on the people committing violence on the island. He said it was important that the public, the media, the judiciary, the correctional system and political leaders appreciate that the fight against crime requires collaborative efforts.
“The murderers out there killing people... These people make money from what they do and big money. As a police force we need to reach out and create pathways, interventions and work with partners to ensure we have less and less people going into that [lifestyle]. When you have chosen that life, you need to be imprisoned for a long time. It cannot be that you are in prison now and two years later I am putting you back in prison and then two years after that. You need to be away!”