The Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in Norwood, St. James, continues to yield results, with approximately seven people arrested and charged for major crimes up to Tuesday (June 22).
These include illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, sexual offences and lotto scamming.
As at Monday (June 21), the security forces had seized illegal firearms and several rounds of ammunition. In addition, three persons were held with one individual identified as a person of interest.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, said that the early success justifies the need for the enhanced security operations in the area, which began on Sunday (June 20).
“We have recovered three firearms in the three days. We declared a ZOSO in Mount Salem in September 2017 and it took us two weeks for the first firearm to be recovered,” the Police Commissioner noted.
”It’s been just three days since we have launched this operation here in Norwood and already we have recovered several firearms and have arrested and charged about seven persons who are involved in criminal activities,” he pointed out.
Major General Anderson, who toured sections of Norwood on Tuesday, said that community has been plagued by gang activity, which was spilling over into nearby areas.
“So it was important that Norwood, being a crossroads as to what happens in this part of St. James and impacting even as far as downtown Montego Bay, that we do an intervention here,” he noted.
Noting that six main gangs have been identified in the area, the Police Commissioner said that the security forces intend to flush them out and to deter them from further criminal activities.
“They are the problem in the community and they need to be in jail or they need to change their ways,” he said.
“So we are continuing our operations… and I think it will redound to the benefit of the people who live in Norwood,” he added.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in declaring the Norwood ZOSO, said that the enhanced security measure was to address the increase in criminal activity in the area.
“Since the beginning of the year, 15 murders and 14 shootings have occurred in Norwood,” he informed.
“Since 2019, within that community there have been 66 murders recorded. But more disturbingly, there are six gangs known to be operating within that very small space and those gangs, although they are based in that area, they operate all over St James,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
Superintendent of Police, Vernon Ellis and Lieutenant Colonel Champlini Henry of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) are jointly in charge of operations within the Norwood ZOSO.