Clansman a major focus of new state of emergency, says commissioner
Acting Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake (file photo).
The St Catherine North Police Division has been on the police’s front-line watch list for years, according to Acting Police Commissioner, Clifford Blake.
Blake, on Sunday, at the press conference to announce a state of public emergency for the division at the Prime Minister's Office at Jamaica House, said intelligence suggests that criminal activities within the division were challenging and set to escalate.
Blake said: "the St Catherine North Police Division has been on the police’s radar for a number of years. The police have been actively attempting to bring order to this police division. Despite several activities, the movement of gangs and guns continue."
He specifically mentioned the noted gang, Clansman, pointing out that the criminal enterprise has been involved in a number of murders and robberies, along with extortion activities, within St Catherine and neighbouring parishes.
While giving statistics, Blake said 48 murders had been committed in the division since the start of the year, a significant rise over the 32 for the same period last year. The division has the most murders so far this year.
Blake blamed the Clansman outfit, which he called the largest gang in Jamaica, for the increase.
He said the state of emergency in the division is an attempt to arrest criminal activities there.
"We will focus on public order by the joint forces, with Linstead, Spanish Town and Bog Walk (as) areas on the radar. The joint forces will use all tools available to restore public order and the rule of law under these powers,” said Blake.
Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Major General Rocky Meade, outlined the boundaries of the area that will be affected by the state of emergency.
The boundaries are:
Northern boundary — the parish boundary starting from the intersection of the St Catherine, St Ann and Clarendon parish boundaries and running east towards Garfield Road to the Moneague leg of the North-South Highway, to Guy's Hill square;
Eastern boundary — starting from the parish boundary, running south to Sligoville to the intersection of Highway 2000, to Lakes Pen Road, Port Henderson Road, Salt Pond Road and to Hill Run main road;
Southern boundary — from the Hartland main road to the Hill Run main road;
Western boundary — the parish boundary running south to Ginger Ridge to Blue Hole to Marley Hill to Dover Road and to the intersection of the PJ Patterson Highway and then to the Hartlands main road.