Cops hunting criminals with all their might
Despite a raft of challenges facing the men and women in the Westmoreland Police Division, and the murder figures being marginally higher than the previous year, commanding officer Superintendent Lansford Salmon says his investigators will be unyielding in their strategies to curtail crime in Westmoreland.
"We are going after them with all our power and might. We will be relentless until they are brought to justice," Salmon told THE Western Star.
"The good thing about it is that we know the troublemakers committing the crimes. However, the challenge that we are having is to get people to come forward and tell us what they know."
According to the lawman, over the years, the police have introduced a range of new initiatives in the western parishes of Hanover, Westmoreland and St James, which are home to the nation's two main tourist resort towns Montego Bay and Negril. However, he said that it was not until the introduction of enhanced security measures in St James that some sense of normalcy is being restored.
According to Salmon, 22 murders have been committed since the start of the year four more than the 18 committed over the same period last year, and the intelligence gathered so far is suggesting that recent crimes are being committed by repeat offenders.
"Yes, it is a grave concern that most of these murders are being committed by persons out on bail," Salmon said. "I know of four individuals who were given bail by the courts and they come out of their beds still committing murders."
He added: "So while there are individuals who are willing to support the anti-crime efforts of the police, many are fearful and distrusting, [and this is] created by the continued ruthlessness of these gun touts. So conflicts are no longer resolved by simple means. Everything is being settled by taking lives and creating mayhem, but we will be strong and resolute."