(CARIBBEAN360) Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers says over 100 illegal firearms have been confiscated since the start of the year through the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) ‘Get the Guns’ campaign.
He said the seizure is part of sustained efforts by the security forces to reduce criminal activities in the country.
The crime-fighting initiative aims to intercept illegal guns entering the island’s shores and seize them from criminals to reduce the number of guns available for illicit activities across the island.
Last year, 689 illegal firearms were seized along with 9,376 assorted rounds of ammunition. This resulted in 1,436 persons being arrested for breaches of the Firearms Act.
“Illegal firearms, none of which is manufactured in Jamaica, were featured in over 80 per cent of murders committed and the security forces continue to recover illegal firearms in huge numbers,” Chambers noted.
He said the Ministry of National Security continues work to stem other illegal activities in the country, including criminal organizations (gangs), whose numbers were reduced from 262 in 2015 to 258 in 2016.
“The National Strategic Anti-Gang Unit at the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime (CTOC) Investigation Branch has been making steady strides in its anti-gang efforts and positively impacted 20 gangs in 2016 through arrests and the preferring of charges, some of which resulted in convictions,” he added.
ACP Chambers said there have also been positive results from the Anti-Gang legislation with over 300 persons charged and four convicted.
The Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Bill, popularly called the anti-gang legislation, was passed in 2014. The law makes provision for the disruption and suppression of criminal organizations and outlines offences to restore a sense of security in the Jamaican society and strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies to deal with crime effectively.