Police detain 43 in West Kingston operation

News post April 5, 2016

Police officers destroying a gambling shop on Wellington Street in Denham Town, West Kingston, during yesterday’s start of a week-long joint police/military operation in the Kingston Western Police Division.

FORTY-THREE men were yesterday detained on day one of a week-long joint police/military operation in West Kingston to apprehend wanted men, persons of interest, and seize illegal guns.

The operation, which is being spearheaded by the Denham Town police and includes police officers from Mobile Reserve, and members of the Jamaica Defence Force, is part of an effort to contain the recent flare-up of violence in the Kingston Western Police Division. The operation began yesterday on Wellington Street, where police officers were seen tearing down an illegal gambling shop, and continued in a number of other communities. Commanding Officer for the Kingston Western Police Division, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Howard Chambers, said the violence in the division, which began approximately three weeks ago, is a result of fighting among gangs. “What is happening is a conflict between men loyal to Tivoli [Gardens] and men who are not aligned to Tivoli in Denham Town,” he told the

Jamaica Observer. “Men from Tivoli want to take back control of the division.”

Just last Friday, he said, “We had sporadic shooting in the division. Police at one time saw the men shooting and had to intervene.” SSP Chambers said so far one person has died and five others shot and injured. He said the police will be pursuing the “main players in the war” during the course of this week. “Even if the players move out of the division and take away themselves, we are going to find them,” he promised, noting that the police have in their possession a list of people who are being sought, but are waiting on clearance from the Police High Command to release the names. In the meantime, SSP Chambers said the police will continue their social intervention activities, which involve community walk-throughs and meeting with residents. “One and two people are willing to broker peace, but it’s mainly women and children. So, the young men have to come on board because, in order for it to be sustained, everyone has to be involved,” he said. In the meantime, residents have expressed fear and are adamant that they do not want a return to the “old system” where the communities in the division were controlled by men from Tivoli.

“We want equal rights and justice for all where every man has a fair chance,” one man told the


He was supported by another, who blurted, “[Some a dem] want everything that is why war a gwaan. Wi nuffi have nuh car nor nuh bike; a bicycle alone wi fi have, but we nah go back to dem system deh.”

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