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March 4, 2014
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JCF launches extortion suppression campaign

The Jamaica Constabulary Force yesterday launched an islandwide campaign aimed at suppressing extortion activities by employing methods aimed at educating the public and increasing awareness.

In a media brief, the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) stated: "Extortion activities are severely impacting shop and store operators, street vendors, market vendors, bus and taxi operators, construction projects in the public and private sectors, wholesalers, commuters, event organisers and artistes in the entertainment industry and schoolchildren".

The brief further stated that; "The practice is becoming endemic to the point where increasing numbers of business operators are viewing the payment of extortion as a part of the cost of doing business in Jamaica, once that business is within a certain geographic space (turf) which is said to be the territory of a criminal organisation".

According to the CCU, extortion has helped to fund criminal activities undertaken by gangs who are noted as being responsible for 78 per cent of murders in 2013.

The police urge members of the public who are victims, or know about the practice of extortion to call the Anti-Extortion Hotline at 579-5940.

The public may also contact Crime Stop at 311 or the police 119 emergency number.

- B.B.

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