Murders up in St Ann last year, but cops looking to step up crime figh
Despite an increase in murders last year, compared to 2018, head of the St Ann police, Senior Superintendent Calvin Small, has assured that the police will be more effective in their crime-fighting efforts.
Small, while addressing the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation recently, said additional resources will be used by the police to achieve success in the fight against crime in the parish.
St Ann, however, saw reductions being recorded in some areas of crime, such as rape, break-ins and aggravated assaults, last year. On the flip side, robberies and shootings joined murders as the areas of crime which increased in 2019.
Small said overall, major crimes were down five per cent in 2019, when compared to 2018.
In providing the statistics to the councillors, Small disclosed that 2019 closed with 51 murders being recorded, which compared to 48 murders in 2018. Eighteen or 35 per cent of those murders last year were said to be gang-related.
The senior superintendent disclosed as well, that the parish recorded four double murders, with the Steer Town community also reporting an increase in murders as 2019 drew to a close.
But Small was quick to point out that Steer Town was being heavily patrolled with the assistance of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), to aid in maintaining peace there.
"Of concern to us would be the increase in murders. What we noticed was that for the year we had four double murders (in) Pineapple, Minard, Parry Town and Mammee Bay... and right down to the end of the year, we did see an increase in Steer Town, which we believe is gang-related. The area is now calm, but we have been consistently patrolling that space - 24 hours - along with help from the Jamaica Defence Force," Small indicated.
In relations to shootings, the senior police officer said that crime increased by four, as 48 cases were reported in 2019, compared to 44 cases for 2018.
Robberies also saw an increase, with 82 incidents being reported last year, compared to 68 cases for the previous year.
But the police recorded less cases of rape last year, with seven, compared to 23 in 2018.
Meanwhile, Small asserted that the police are working assiduously to make breakthroughs with several murder probes, and were seeking the public’s assistance in bringing the respective perpetrators to justice.
"Our investigators are working assiduously to find the culprits in some of these incidents. We note that there was a double murder in Mammee Bay. Two persons are now wanted for that incident," Small stated.
One of the men being sought as a suspect in the double killing has been identified as Nick Dillion, alias 'Torie', of Gulf district in Steer Town, St Ann. The identity of the other suspect is being withheld at this time.
The murders, which occurred at a beach in Mammee Bay on Sunday, December 8, claimed the lives of two men from Steer Town.
The deceased were identified as 24-year-old Jamiel Ellis, alias ‘Munga’, and 32-year-old Oniel Wynter, alias ‘Pumba'.
The St Ann's Bay police reported that about 10.54 am, both men were on the beach when armed men travelling in a Toyota motorcar approached them.
The assailants alighted from the vehicle and opened gunfire, hitting Ellis and Wynter before making their escape in the vehicle.
The two wounded men later died at hospital.
The police are also seeking Brandon Williams, alias ‘Lando’, of Dam Head in Steer Town, in connection with a shooting incident in the community last November.
Small said the police are actively searching for the men, and would like the public to assist in locating them.