Senior cop urges residents not to shelter criminals

September 23, 2022

Commanding officer for the Kingston Central Police Division, Superintendent Berrisford Williams, has again urged residents not to provide cover for criminals.

Williams made the call on Thursday, following the discovery of an illegal M-16 in Rose Gardens.

The operation, which occurred around 1:30 p.m., also saw the lawmen recovering 13 rounds of 9-mm ammunition and denim clothing and uniforms resembling those worn by members of the Jamaica Defence Force.

"The recovery of the M-16 carbine rifle only shows the type of firepower that the criminals have out there and are willing to use at will," he added.

The weapon, Williams said, was in a "very good condition" and that a ballistic report will tell if the firearm had been used previously to commit crimes.

He stressed the importance of removing illegal firearms from communities.

"If we continue to rid the communities of the firearms, the likelihood of more people dying because of the gang conflicts will be tremendously reduced," Williams said.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness recently said that 85 per cent of all homicides in Jamaica are committed using an illegal firearm.

In 2021, the Central Kingston division came under a siege of gunfire as rival gunmen from the Darkside and Genasyde gangs settled their differences in the manner they only knew best.

Some 79 persons were killed prompting the government of Jamaica to declare Parade Gardens a zone of special operations (ZOSO) in January.

Williams said the ZOSO has been reaping good dividends in Parade Gardens when he was asked if he was able to give an assessment of its performance nine months in.

"We have had no murders or shootings in the Parade Gardens area since the ZOSO and this was a major hotspot for criminality," he said.

Police statistics show that 33 people have been killed in the division between January 1 to September 17, representing a 37 per cent reduction comparable to the corresponding period of last year.

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