WILD, WILD, WEST - St James accounts for half of ammo found in Jamaica
Nearly half of the bullets recovered by the police in Jamaica during the first half of the year were seized in St James. Police statistics have revealed that since January, the lawmen have seized 449 guns and 7,899 rounds of ammunition in the country.
The statistics further indicate that the majority of the assorted rounds of ammunition seized (4,015 rounds) for the period, 51 per cent took place in Area One, which comprises Hanover, St James, Trelawny and Westmoreland.
St James alone accounted for 44 per cent (3,476 rounds) of the bullets seized in the country.
While the Government is yet to announce its next steps, commentators have suggested that several areas in western Jamaica should be the target of a new anti-crime bill that has been passed by Parliament.
The law will give members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) certain essential powers required to address serious crimes while upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms.
"Through this bill, we seek to target criminals and build up communities," junior security minister Pearnel Charles Jr said.
Criminologists Dr Herbert Gayle said yesterday that the approach appears to be one built around crime suppression, which is not a sustainable approach.
"It desperately needs long-term, planning that gives people a sense of hope,".
Twenty-eight per cent of the guns seized by police since the start of the year have been recovered in western Jamaica. According to the Corporate Communications Unit of the force, 128 guns were recovered in the Area One.
Area Four, which comprises of Kingston Central, Kingston East, Kingston West, St Andrew Central and St Andrew South accounted for 30 per cent (135) of the firearms recovered.