Regional

67% of St James murder victims belonged to gangs — police

HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, November 05, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The high command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has provided data revealing that 67 per cent of the 264 people killed in St James since the start of this year have been established gang members.

Ten of 33 gangs operating across the parish are mostly involved in the killings.

“Of the 264 murders that we have, 176 is a result of gang feuds. So its gang-on-gang activities that has caused 176 murders of the 264,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Donovan Graham said during a press conference which was hosted by the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) in Montego Bay yesterday.

Meanwhile, ACP Graham told the Jamaica Observer that the gun was the weapon of choice in 85 per cent of the killings so far this year.

In the meantime, Saturdays have been the bloodiest days, accounting for 51 of the murders, with Tuesdays and Thursdays following closely with the similar tally of 41.

Minister of National Security Robert Montague thanked the chamber for inviting him down, and ACP Graham and his team for the “phenomenon job they are doing in challenging circumstances”.

He gave Government's continued commitment to fight crime.

“The Government of Jamaica is committed to citizen safety and security. We all know and appreciate and understand that it cannot be done overnight. We are fighting organised crime. The good, decent law-abiding citizens of Jamaica, therefore, must organise,” Montague said.

He added: “Crime is costing Jamaica five per cent of our GDP, $68 billion in hard-earned taxpayers' money. We cannot afford for these wutliss, dutty criminals to cost us so much.”

Meanwhile, president of MBCCI T'Shura Gibbs, expressed gratitude to the security minister and his team for accepting the chamber's invitation.

“I am very happy to see that there is a plan, but more importantly that it is not called a crime plan, but it has a more positive connotation to it and it is more a safety and security plan,” Gibbs said.

“I would like to specifically thank the minister of security and his team for their attendance.”

Commission of Police George Quallo and head of operations at the St James Police Division, Superintendent Gary McKenzie, along with other members of the MBCCI were also in attendance.

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