People being sought for crimes committed in the Linstead area of St Catherine North Police Division should surrender now.
Head of the Division, Senior Superintendent Howard Chambers, made the appeal yesterday while speaking with the press during a walk through Commodore district in Linstead.
He did not publicly name the suspects.
“There are some persons who know that the police are asking them to come in because we would have been at their residences and we would have been everywhere that we know is in their modus operandi, and we are asking those persons to please submit. Come in to the police; you can come in Linstead Station. You can get a pastor, a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace,” SSP Chambers further advised.
He noted that one of the suspects is already in custody regarding serious crimes committed recently.
“That suspect will be charged although we are looking for other persons that have been featured in these incidents of late,” the senior crime fighter further said. “We have increased the number of investigators in this part of the division and I can say that, based on the last meeting we had with the investigators in terms of crime review, we are on to something and very soon I know that some persons will be charged based on the recent incidents.”
Eight people have been slain in the Linstead police area since the year started.
That, according to SSP Chambers, reflects a marginal increase over the number of murders recorded in the corresponding period last year.
“From what we gather, these crimes in Linstead are due to gang conflict and they are due to the viscous cycle of crime in terms of tit-for-tat coming from years, not just this year or last year, but two, three, four years ago. And so we want to mitigate and stop this cycle. That is why we are including community engagement and partnership in this type of resolving the problem,” the SSP added.
Linstead and Spanish Town, he noted, are traditionally the two main hot-spots in St Catherine North Police Division.
“When we look at the statistics in comparison to last year and this year, Spanish Town is down in relation to murders and shootings. But Linstead is a little above – not way above, but we don’t want it to spread exponentially. That is the reason I say Linstead Zone, as we speak, is the number one priority in terms of most of the efforts for the division,” SSP Chambers added.
According to him, the police have been using a three-pronged approach in relation to the recent crimes. They include increased operational efforts, which include the military.
Another key component of the police’s plan to arrest the crime situation in Linstead is the increased effort to connect with communities, as indicated in the walk through the community of Commodore yesterday. During that walk, the law enforcers also visited the family of one of the gunshot victims.
That was the second day within two weeks that senior members of the St Catherine North Police Division were leading their officers on a walk through troubled communities in Linstead. On February 15, they visited the communities of Time and Patience and Trinity.
All the communities visited so far have been affected by crimes.
The police, during their walks, have been accompanied by other State agencies as well as community-based organizations.
SSP Chambers yesterday stated that the residents have been welcoming of the teams.
“They are demanding more of this type of partnership,” he added. “We are doing a management walk through. It’s a field staple in the division; it is something that we believe in because it serves to strengthen the partnership with community members… We are engaging citizens and we are at the same time doing victim support to persons who have been impacted by the recent incidents.”
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