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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting is assuring the public that the police will not be deterred in its efforts to reverse the increase in violence and murders now affecting sections of the country.
  • The Minister was speaking in an interview with JIS News following a visit to Logwood Hanover on Friday, October 9, where six persons were killed and four injured in an attack by gunmen.
  • While condemning what he called the senseless killing of the six family members, Mr. Bunting said there were early signs that the lottery scam could be linked to the tragedy.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting is assuring the public that the police will not be deterred in its efforts to reverse the increase in violence and murders now affecting sections of the country.

The Minister was speaking in an interview with JIS News following a visit to Logwood Hanover on Friday, October 9, where six persons were killed and four injured in an attack by gunmen.

While condemning what he called the senseless killing of the six family members, Mr. Bunting said there were early signs that the lottery scam could be linked to the tragedy.

“Let me just say that I cannot imagine the pain and grief being experienced by the friends and relatives of this family. Absolutely nothing can justify this wanton and wicked act. As Jamaicans we must ask ourselves, how did we as a society become so callous and evil?” he stated.

He added that communities can no longer afford to be a party to the “conspiracy of silence” and must do everything they can to assist the police.

“Sometimes it seems like we keep repeating ourselves. The problem we are facing here in Hanover is that there is now an increase in lottery scamming activities, which not surprisingly, is showing an increase in murders. It is not a coincidence,” Mr. Bunting said.

The National Security Minister said he has been warning and preaching to people that nothing good can come from communities turning a blind eye to lottery scamming; pointing to what he said was the havoc it had wreaked on the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland and now, Hanover.

“Two to three years ago, you wouldn’t believe this is Hanover we are talking about here. We are talking about one of the parishes that previously had a very low crime rate and now look what is happening. I tell you we have to change the culture of the acceptance of criminality,” Mr. Bunting warned.

“As long as pastors, business people and community leaders are turning a blind eye to the scourge of lottery scamming, it is going to be very difficult for the police. Nothing less than a united effort will suffice,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Security Minister says the security forces have been working around the clock to prevent “these senseless acts of violence” and commended the police for what he describes as their swift and professional response to the situation.

For his part, Police Commissioner Dr. Carl Williams said the police have been following some very good leads and promised that the perpetrators will in a short time be apprehended.

“The best investigative resources in the country will be brought here to solve this crime. We will be working with the military…we will be doing everything in our power to bring these people in. We know who they are and we are going to bring them to justice,” he stated.

Dr. Williams said he was a firm believer in community policing, reiterating that there have been a significant decrease in crime in traditional hotspots and places where the police and the citizenry have been working in tandem.

“We cannot just sit on the sidelines and criticize. We have to do this together. We have seen where in places like Spanish Town, where the police and citizens have been working together, and have been seeing tremendous results,” he stated.