Cops look to arrest violence upsurge in Kingston

February 01, 2023
Police and crime scene detectives process a murder scene on Orange Street in Kingston last month.
Police and crime scene detectives process a murder scene on Orange Street in Kingston last month.

Eleven men considered to be major violence producers across three police divisions in Kingston have been warned to immediately hand themselves over to the authorities.

There has been an upsurge of violence in the capital as rival gunmen in the Kingston Western, Kingston Eastern and Kingston Central divisions continue to engage each other in a bloody dispute. Nineteen persons have died in the aforementioned divisions up to January 29 according to the police. The 11 names were announced by the Area Four Police's Commanding Officer, Senior Superintendent Stephen McGregor during a video which was uploaded by the Jamaica Constabulary Force's social media platform.

"We want their relatives and friends to know that these men are wanted persons, and if they are found in your company you can be arrested as such. Please hand in yourselves as soon as possible," said McGregor. He disclosed that the men are wanted for a variety of serious crimes including murder. He shared that the police are upping their strategy to ensure that they find and arrest the individuals who are involved and committing the crimes. Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson stated that there will be a series of "deliberate and detailed searches".

"Our response to this increase in violence has been initially to deploy a significant amount of assets in the affected areas. We then went through a process of identifying some of the key players who may have been involved in the violence, but also, those persons who may have been organising, orchestrating the violence in Kingston West and Kingston Central. What is for sure is that we find unacceptable that criminals, gunmen with their own selfish motives, hold entire communities to ransom. We are going to get those persons who believe that they are going to disrupt normal life in communities and cause violence to go up in Kingston again. We are not going to have that." Anderson said.

He added that the police were also focusing their efforts overseas in a bid to nab persons who are also funding and orchestrating criminal activities.

"We have already given some of those names to our partners and we will give some additional names to them, and we will be pursuing them here and there. Fortunately, we had an arrest up in the US recently of one of the criminal gang leaders here and his second, and we are working with our partners to see where this goes," he added.

The commissioner added that in 2022, Area Four had more than 20 per cent reduction in violent crime.

"All of the divisions were below what they were in 2021. So that sets the backdrop for what is happening now and this year and we have to make sure that that continues. There will also be a series of curfews that will continue in the short term," he said.

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