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January 11, 2014
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Police report success in Area One

ACP Warren Clarke

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of St James, West-moreland, and Hanover (Area One), Warren Clarke, says that sustained efforts by the police to control crime in western Jamaica have reaped success, with the total dismantling of the notorious Alma gang.

"Gangs played a significant role as drivers of violence during 2013, and so we are particularly encouraged by the progress enabled by our partnerships with the communities, which saw the dismantling of one gang and the disruption of several others," he said.

"Members of the Alma gang were engaged in a cycle of violence, that is, murders, shootings, robberies, rapes, and extortions in the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover since 2008. This gang was successfully dismantled when 13 members were either arrested and charged or shot and killed during confrontations with the police," Clarke added.

He was addressing a press conference at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Hotel in Montego Bay on January 7 at which he gave an update on the police's efforts to put a lid on criminal activities.

Clarke pointed out that 115 firearms were seized during 2013 and 46 criminal fugitives were apprehended alive, "demonstrating our judicious use of lethal force".

He noted that during 2013, there were surges in gang and criminal activities in the second half of the year, with causes of the violence attributed to gang conflicts, which manifested in reprisals.

crime surges contained

"Attacks were not limited to gang members themselves, but families, friends, and associates were also victims. However, all crime surges were successfully contained, with the perpetrators either arrested or displaced," Clarke told JIS News.

He emphasised that the police are determined to improve service delivery from the 32 police stations across the area and called on citizens to support the police in their efforts to make communities safer for all citizens as well as visitors to the country.

"Our significant progress against gangs and the record level of firearm seizures demonstrate our determination to keep communities stable. We appeal to the law-abiding (citizens) to continue to support law and order by telling us what they know," Clarke said.

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