The Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson says 30 individuals residing in the United States, who he described as influencers of crime and violence in Jamaica are on the radar of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and are being actively pursued.
Anderson made the disclosure on Tuesday during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime (OPM) where Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the declaration of eight states of emergency (SOEs).
Anderson, who was at pains to explain that SOEs are not just about detaining people, clarified an earlier statement he made that the previous SOEs which ran from November 15 to 29 were mostly focused on 300 violence producers for whom the JCF has prepared intelligence packages.
“As the prime minister says, we’re also working with our overseas partners on some of this. We have a target list of 30 who reside in the US who we’re doing some work on,” said Anderson.
“Those who are over there who believe that they are supporting violence and crime in Jamaica and they are doing so without anybody paying any attention to them they’re sorely mistaken,” the commissioner warned.
“Along with our partners we’ll deal with that aspect of things also,” he stated.
When asked by a reporter how many of the persons who were detained during the last round of SOEs were charged, Anderson admitted it was just a few.
But, he pointed out that “There are a suite of operations that take place under a state of public emergency that disrupt, that cause persons to make different decisions and choices and who are in the criminal underworld, and also those who we know that are significant violence producers, to bring them in”.
Said Anderson: “It’s not only 300 people who’re involved in violence in Jamaica. We take some 700 guns off the roads per year and people are still out there shooting”.
Meanwhile, Holness left the island for Washington D.C. on Tuesday after announcing the latest SOEs. He disclosed that his trip was to hold talks with the relevant authorities with the aim of getting “better cooperation on identifying and dealing with persons” in the United States who are actively involved in crime and violence in Jamaica.
The prime minister said his visit was to “start the process of getting a more intense cooperation in treating with the foreign actors in our local crime – those dons, those who have migrated overseas that in this (Christmas) season they will be sending the bag of rice and all the other goodies in the barrel. But secreted in that bag of rice, wrapped up in that blanket will be a gun or ammunition or parts thereof”.
He had a warning for those who believe they are untouchable.
“They can’t feel that they’re free to influence, direct, solicit and finance crime in Jamaica so I head to Washington to have meetings with Justice Department, the FBI and other entities there.
“You’re overseas and you’re sponsoring, directing, soliciting or financing crime in Jamaica, we’re going to get you”.