The army is out

July 08, 2017
A joint military-police team on patrol in Olympic Gardens this week.
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Soldiers have been deployed to some of the main trouble spots as part of a move to slow runaway criminality sweeping across much of the island.

"Right now, we have a tense situation in Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens as rival gangs grapple for ownership and control of turf in West Kingston," Basil Jarrett, Civil Military Cooperation and Media Affairs Officer for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) said.

Jarrett said that both the police and soldiers have troops strategically located in key hot spots across the country, acting as a buffer between rival gangs that are out to destroy each other.

"These men have no reluctance to attack each other in the community and so our presence forces them to reconsider and reassess their options. As we have seen, this has by no means removed their determination to shoot at and kill each other, but with our troops on the ground, it does make it a bit more difficult for them," Jarrett said.

According to Jarrett, the presence of the security forces in the communities has not only compromised the activities of the rival factions, but has also led to frequent contact between soldiers, police and criminals.

"Just last night", says Jarrett, "there was contact between a JDF patrol team and gunmen in the vicinity of Tulip Lane, Denham Town, when gunmen opened fire on the patrol team. Fortunately, no innocent civilians were hurt in the exchange but this demonstrates the frustration of the gunmen and their willingness to engage us as a result of our interfering presence".

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