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JIS News

Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, is calling on residents of St. Catherine to be on the lookout for wanted persons seeking to escape police dragnets.

He said with the security forces undertaking enhanced security measures in the St. Catherine North Police Division, members of the criminal network in the area and elsewhere might want to hide among law-abiding citizens, and decent people need to help in keeping the communities safe from wrongdoers.

“If they see strangers moving about in their communities, seeking places to rent, get in touch with the nearest police station to treat with the information, so that the police can assist them to keep their communities safe,” the Minister said.

Mr. Montague, who spoke with JIS News, today (March 23), while visiting the Headquarters of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in St. Andrew, stressed that citizens must play their part in exposing areas where weapons are hidden and persons who are transporting them away from the communities now under the State of Public Emergency.

He said persons with relevant information should call 311, which is a secure medium, and provide the details to the authorities.

The Minister said that with four gangsters from Montego Bay in St. James being captured in a St. Catherine community, it shows how criminals are protecting each other.

“It tells you that the criminals are networking, they hide each other; and we are asking for the cooperation of business persons with the early closing hours as we move to take back public spaces and restore order,” he said.

On Sunday (March 18), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, declared a State of Public Emergency in the St. Catherine North Police Division.

As at March 22, some 350 persons were taken into custody, with most of them processed.

The Minister reported that a number of persons have been arrested on warrants, and more than 40 of the detainees are being held pending processing and “further investigation”.