Commish updates Cabinet on policing, including May Pen robbery probe
Major General Antony Anderson
Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, has assured the Cabinet that investigators probing the recent multi-million dollar robbery in May Pen, Clarendon, are pursuing strong leads and are in search of suspects.
Last Sunday, a band of robbers armed with high-powered assault rifles, held up a Chinese-owned supermarket in the central Jamaica parish capital. The robbers were surprised by the police, who they engaged in a prolonged gun battle before taking the owners and staff members of the business as hostages and using them as human shields to aid their escape bid.
Their action forced the police to stand down in the interest of preserving the lives of the hostages.
Two policemen were shot and seriously injured in the incident.
The gunmen were forced to abandon a Toyota Probox motor vehicle, about $500,000 in cash, a shotgun and some ammunition, Anderson earlier reported. It is believed that they made off with an estimated $3 million.
The incident caused a huge public outcry and prompted Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Clarendon, Mike Henry, to call for the establishment of a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in May Pen, and Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, to urge that a state of emergency be imposed in Clarendon, where a slew of murders both preceded and have followed the brazen robbery on Sunday.
Anderson was summoned by the Cabinet to provide an update on current policing initiatives and the progress of probes into several recent incidents of crime across the island, including the May Pen robbery.
A release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) stated that the Cabinet is in full support of the police, and expressed the hope of a speedy recovery for the two injured cops.
Clarendon has been one of the parishes to record high rates of homicide over recent years, and gun crimes have increased exponentially within its borders.