Cops monitor 32 major gangs
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, in making the disclosure in Parliament yesterday, said that given the nature of gangs in Jamaica, these 32 gangs, with their various alliances, are likely to have spawned anywhere from 64 to 120 sub-gangs, or even more.
"It takes a lot of time, work and effort by the police to contain those," Chang said.
"The reality in our situation is that if one of those conflicts jump out for a weekend, we can have anywhere from six to 10 murders," he added.
Based on statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, 1,078 murders were recorded as of Sunday, which represents a 10 per cent increase when compared with last year. The St Andrew South Police Division has recorded 129 murders (15 per cent increase); St James accounts for 117 of the murders (34.5 per cent increase) and St Catherine South with 98 murders (with 21 per cent) being the most murderous divisions on the island.
Chang yesterday announced that the Protective Services Division, the largest formation in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, with more than 500 members, will be reorganised and the policemen deployed to take on crime-fighting work.
"We need as many police officers as possible on the front line of crime fighting. The people in the communities who are being tormented by gang violence need these police officers to protect them," Chang said.
He also said that Jamaica does not have a history of people attacking public officials, adding that threats against this group is extremely low.