JIS News

Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, says charges have been laid against 16 of 60 detainees still in police custody, who were picked up during the two-month State of Public Emergency.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Commissioner’s Office, Old Hope Road, Kingston Thursday (July 22), Mr. Ellington said that they have been charged with serious offences, ranging from murder to shooting. He added that charges are expected to be preferred against another six to eight of the detainees.
“There are 23 of whom we will recommend to the Hon. Minister (of National Security) that they be released from custody. There is a hardcore of 18, whom we have not yet charged and in respect of whom we are trying to build cases. We will seek the permission of the courts to remand these individuals. If we do not get it, we will release them from custody,” he disclosed.
The Commissioner said that the 60 detainees were among 4,000 who were detained during joint police/military operations over the last two months, of which detention orders were obtained to remand 128. He said those operations were part of a “very aggressive coordinated and comprehensive” investigative strategy against “key criminal actors.”
The Commissioner warned the persons who have been released that they should take note of the changed environment which has been achieved in the last two months, since they have been disrupted and incapacitated.
“I want to warn them that if they return to the streets and start back their criminal activities, generating violence and profiting from violence, they will feel the full weight of law enforcement. The gains that we have made over the last two months, we’re not about to lose them to criminality,” he said.
He reassured the public that the Police will use “every lawful means” at their disposal, to assure their safety and security, as they continue the very important operations re-establishing security and order in the country.
“Let me assure you that what we bring is leadership which is committed to the cause, and we will do everything to protect you and give you good guidance as you carry out your tasks,” Mr. Ellington said.
The Commissioner also thanked the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) for their support during the period of the State of Emergency, pointing out that they have committed their long term support for the JCF’s efforts.
Endorsing Commissioner Ellington’s statement, JDF Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Stewart Saunders, reassured that the army will continue to support the JCF in current endeavours, and until crime has reached tolerable levels in the society.

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