Six arrested, four firearms seized in WestmorelandSunday, September 19, 2021
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — Police in Westmoreland arrested six people and seized four firearms in three separate incidents across the parish between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
In the first incident, the police arrested and charged 23-year-old Akeem Clarke, a welder of Hudson Street in Savanna-la-Mar after a Kel-Tec 9mm pistol and a magazine containing ten 9mm rounds was seized during a joint police/military patrol.
Reports from the police are that about 8:00 pm on Friday, the team stopped and searched Clarke and a 16-year-old male who were both walking along Hudson Street.
Clarke was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition while the juvenile was taken into custody with the aim of calling in his parents and providing a warning.
In the second incident, a man who is on bail for the offence of murder with reporting conditions was arrested and charged by the police with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition after a black and silver 9mm pistol with a cartridge containing fifteen 9mm rounds were found in his waistband.
Police reports are that around 3:00 pm on Saturday, a joint police/military patrol stopped and searched the accused, 21-year-old Garth Spence of a Westmoreland address and another man who were walking along Darling St in Savanna la Mar.
In another incident that took place in Grange Hill around 3:00 pm that same day, three men including a juvenile were arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm and being in possession of an offensive weapon.
The police were responding to a report of attempted robbery in the area when three men walking along the roadway were stopped and searched.
Two homemade firearms were reportedly found respectively in the waistband of a 17-year-old juvenile and 19-year-old Tyrone Cardwell of Mint Road, Grange Hill. A machete was found in the waistband of the third man who has been identified as 18-year-old Mario Smith, a labourer of Mint Road also.
Cardwell and the juvenile were charged with illegal possession of firearms while Smith was charged with being in possession of an offensive weapon.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Adrian Hamilton, the officer in charge of operations for the Westmoreland police division, said the latest seizures can be attributed to increased operational, investigative and intelligence focus activities with emphasis on stop and search especially in crime hotspots across the parish which has seen an uptick in criminal activities in recent weeks.
The officer said the police will continue to use whatever resources are available to them to go after perpetrators of criminal activities across the parish until normalcy is returned.
DSP Hamilton said the involvement of children in serious crimes continues to be of alarm, describing the situation as a deadly symptom of pervasive criminal culture, broken homes and prevalent gang activity.
Since the start of the year, 106 children have been either a victim or perpetrator of crimes in the parish. Of this amount, 81 are victims and 25 were perpetrators, according to the police.
Since the start of the year, the police have enjoyed a significant increase in firearms and ammunition recovery.
"We have seized 31 firearms and 298 rounds of ammunition which represents an increase of 12 and 76 [per cent] respectively when compared to the same period in 2020," stated DSP Hamilton.
"I want to commend the hard-working police officers within the division who continue to give their best, even in challenging circumstances as we push towards our vision of delivering a high[ly] professional service that is trusted by all the people," he assed.