Brazen criminals

HEAD of the constabulary’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay said criminals felt emboldened to challenge the police on Monday night in West Kingston because they are armed with high-powered weapons.

“…You tend to see, particularly in the Kingston Western [Police] Division, where persons take on the security forces, and I think they do it because they believe that they have the firepower to do it,” said Lindsay.

“Of course, they are very co-ordinated in their attacks, so you will find that in no time somebody is firing from Denham Town, and there is another area, Matthew’s Lane, and they are all working together against the security forces.

“But we are the security forces, we are the police and we are the military, and we will ensure that we carry out our functions. We will do what is necessary and what is important to ensure that no criminal will take over the safety and security of the citizens that we serve,” said Lindsay.

She charged that the West Kingston gangsters also set up fellow residents against the police.

“What you tend to find is that when they… fire at the security forces they then put women and children in front to cry police brutality. And even when they are showing the videos and making the claims that they are the ones who are being attacked, the same videos they are sending around show something different.

“…We are very aware of the dynamics at play in those areas, and we understand how these people operate; they are usually the aggressors. They have no qualms about firing on the security forces with high-powered weapons [and] if they get the opportunity they will kill members of the security forces, because they feel comforted that somebody will come out and say it is not so,” charged Lindsay.

The CCU boss was providing an update on Monday night’s incident in which a police team was reportedly pinned down in the Lizard Town area of Kingston Western.

According to Lindsay, sometime just before 10:00 on Monday night, a police team was conducting a routine patrol in the community and went to a location where it appeared a nine-night was being held.

Lindsay said the police asked the people in attendance to leave. Most did without resistance. But shortly after, she said, the police team came under heavy gunfire.

It was officers from six other divisions and Jamaica Defence Force soldiers, she said, who managed to take control of the situation, rescuing members of the patrol team after a shoot-out with the gangsters.

It was alleged that people aligned to the gangsters subsequently set fire to the Ray Ray Market.

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