Local gangsters are being warned to refrain from committing further criminal acts, as the police will be relentlessly pursuing them in the New Year.
Head of the police’s crime and security portfolio, Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, gave the warning at a press conference on Thursday while announcing the arrest of 31 suspected members of the St Catherine-based Clansman gang following a nine-month long probe.
The senior lawman announced that more initiatives to capture criminals will be rolled out in the New Year.
“I again want to appeal to those who are engaged in gang activities, you need to step back a little and think of the danger that you are causing to our nation,” Bailey urged.
“The law enforcement agencies… are committed to the cause of making Jamaica safe and we will do everything in our powers (to do so),” he declared.
As part of the activities for 2024, Bailey said the police and their law enforcement partners, including the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), will be going after the gangs wherever they are.
“It doesn’t matter where they hide, we are going to find them (gang members). So, I appeal to them again to step back and rethink their actions,” Bailey stated.
The police said their extensive months-long probe linked the Clansman gang to at least 800 murders since 2014.
During an operation carried out on Thursday morning in sections of St Catherine, 13 men who are believed to be linked to the section of the gang that is reportedly under the direction of incarcerated gang boss, Tesha Miller, were arrested by the police.
Suman McFarlane, 29, a labourer of Ellerslor Pen, St Catherine, reportedly challenged the police during the operation and was fatally shot.
Overall, the 31 individuals will go through various administrative procedures and could be slapped with offences ranging from murder to shooting.
Bailey said the Clansman gang is currently listed among the top five criminal organisations operating in Jamaica, and said it carries out most of its operations in Spanish Town and its environs.
He said the gang also has influence in the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, St Ann, St James and Kingston.