KINGSTON –– Fifteen men were Thursday detained during a joint police/military operation in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
The bus/taxi park on Burke Road was closed during the operation, which caused a traffic pile-up in the heart of the old capital as dozens of police and soldiers carried out cordons and searches. The park, police said, was being used by criminals to carry out illegal activities.
“The extortion in the bus park is the centre of all the activities in this part of the town and so if we can take out some of the key stakeholders who are involved in the extortion, we believe we can reduce crime and the fear of crime,” Assistant Commissioner of Police for Area Five Derrick “Cowboy” Knight told the Jamaica Observer.
At the same time, Knight said that the police are in search of three suspects who they believe are responsible for the death of 27-year-old Adrian Clarke.
Police reported that on October 25, Clarke was standing on Morrison Street in the town when a gunman approached him and shot him several times. He was taken to the Spanish Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“One of the main persons we want is a guy name ‘Bobo Sparks’; he is from New Nursery and the main suspect in Clarke’s murder two weeks ago. One name ‘Che’ and one name ‘Night and Day’ [are also] persons we are interested in,” said Knight.
Knight said the security forces would continue to carry out smaller operations in and around the bus park.
“Basically we are here to reassure the citizens because you know the fear of crime can even be more than crime itself. It impacts on you more and so if the people are fearful, then it will impact on the business community. It will impact on everybody in terms of what they expected to do on a normal basis and so we are out here to reassure the public, and Jamaica in general, that we are in fact on board and we are aware of the situation and we are doing something about it,” Knight said.
Meanwhile, the constabulary’s Corporate Communication Unit (CCU), in a release Thursday, appealed to residents of Spanish Town and surrounding communities to immediately report any suspicious people or movements to members of the security forces on the ground. They were asked to call Crime Stop at 311, 811 or the police 119 emergency number, and also share what they know by using the Stay Alert App.
The CCU also appealed to residents to remain calm and comply with the instructions of the members of the security forces during the operations.