JIS News

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  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, is calling on Jamaicans to remain calm in light of the recent flare-up of violence in St. James.
  • Mr. Montague noted that through the efforts of the security forces, the situation in St. James has been cauterised.
  • “There are still some spots, and criminals who are determined to create mayhem, and we anticipate one or two incidents as we continue this operation. Let me point out that the Ministry has provided all the resources required by the security forces in the current operations, and stands ready to provide more if required,” he said.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, is calling on Jamaicans to remain calm in light of the recent flare-up of violence in St. James.

He said panic and knee-jerk responses cannot and will not solve the country’s crime problem.

The Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 28.

He said the Government condemns the action of the criminals and expresses its regret to the families and communities in western Jamaica that have been affected.

Mr. Montague noted that through the efforts of the security forces, the situation in St. James has been cauterised.

The Minister said to date, the police have arrested the two main perpetrators of the violence, recovered three guns and 66 rounds of ammunition.

He added that the police have detained 98 persons, 37 of whom have been arrested and charged.

“There are still some spots, and criminals who are determined to create mayhem, and we anticipate one or two incidents as we continue this operation. Let me point out that the Ministry has provided all the resources required by the security forces in the current operations, and stands ready to provide more if required,” he said.

In terms of measures implemented, a joint military-police operating centre has been established in Montego Bay, curfews have been imposed, and mobile patrols and vehicle checkpoints have been increased.

There have also been increased intelligence assets, which have been deployed in areas of operation, and the Maroon Town Police Station has been reopened and staffed.

The Anti-Lottery Scam Task Force has been revived and a telephone number manned by senior personnel in St. James has been set up for citizens to call in confidence to share what they know.

Meanwhile, Mr. Montague said the ill-gotten gains from lotto scamming continues to be a source of funding for criminal activities.

“As a nation, we must resolve to turn our backs on lottery scamming. We must support the police and the Anti-Lottery Scam Task Force, which was reconstituted in August of this year. We must support the police when they target the scammers,” the Minister said.

He also called on Parliamentarians to support the changes to the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, in which the Government is seeking harsher sentences for those convicted.