How many times have we seen news reports of weapons and ammunition finds at Jamaica’s wharves with the caption the Police are investigating?
The answer is too many to remember . Yet how many times have we heard that detailed investigations resulted in arrest of the members of an intricate gun smuggling network ?
Or at least I cannot recall ever hearing that this has ever happened.
Law enforcement officials have made a major arms and ammunition find at the Kingston Wharves.
The items comprise an AR-15 assault rifle, two hand guns, a .44 magnum, a .45 pistol, a smoke grenade and some 1,011 assorted rounds of ammunition. The police are now investigating. PHOTOS: Major Gun, Ammunition Find At Kingston Wharves.
It’s natural and totally understandable that we celebrate and feel a sense of relief that at least these weapons and ammunition did not make it to the streets. Who knows just how many lives will be saved just because this particular shipment did not make it out. As a private citizen I share the sense of relief which comes with knowing that they caught this one.
As a former police officer I have an additional response to this as well as every weapon/ammunition and contraband find for that matter.
I understand that each individual case has it’s own unique set of characteristics which necessarily determine how a potential investigation would proceed going forward.
My contention is that a mere contraband find should never be the end of the road, it should be the beginning. I totally understand the euphoria and the adrenaline rush such finds must elicit. I am not too far removed from the successes of the late 80’s early 90’s of the successes of the Constant Spring CIB to forget those adrenaline rushes.
The adrenaline rush should not be a way to say “see we are on the job” . It should serve as an accelerant to the engines of investigators.
POINT OF ORIGIN
Every shipment has a point of origin. Every shipment has a manifest. In today’s world there are cameras everywhere , even if the shipment was delivered to the wharf by third party shipper/transportation that person know from whom he/she received the shipment.
It is not difficult to trace the shipment back to it’s point of origin. We are operating in a inter-connected world where law-enforcement agencies coöperate >
The police department must operate on the premise that for every one shipment it confiscate, several more gets through.
If the method wasn’t seen as a viable option those behind it would not have opted for it. The police department must begin to think this way .
It must also assume the way criminals think, that shipment may also have been a” gimme”, meaning “here take this little gift and get exited while we sneak the real shipment through”.
In order for Jamaican police to access the point of origin it may have to train officers to better investigate crimes. I know despite the fluff there isn’t much investigating being done by the JCF.
It cannot be outside the scope of whats possible for the JCF however to track a shipment at home.
Why reveal that a shipment of guns and ammunition was discovered?
That shipment and every other was consigned to someone or some organization. This is where investigators should patiently wait until the shipment is signed for and picked up. The next step is to follow it to see where it lead to before arresting the perpetrators.
If a shipment of guns and ammunition are arriving at a location I believe it is a safe bet to imagine that the principal players are in place at the destination point.
Making arrests at this point is likely to yield a treasure trove of valuable principal players. If Investigators are interested in following the trail to where it leads.
If the Police department is serious about crime it must first fix the perception it has about it’s methods.
As for this writer , the methodologies being use does not exactly elicit or engender confidence that there is a desire to find out who are behind these shipments of weapons into our country.
Just this morning I read that the JCF will be training some members to deal with domestic violence. This training is supposed to be made possible with outside help.
I stand to be corrected but why is it not standard procedure that officers are trained in domestic violence awareness and how-to at the academy? Why aren’t the foreign Governments not offering help in fighting crime?
There seem to have been a stepping up of police raids and aggressiveness in recent weeks . Whether it is related to the change in Government is yet to be determined.
What appears evident is that there is entrenched opposition to aggressive law enforcement in the country . The former administration and previous PNP administrations was not prepared to expend any political capital to get criminals off the streets.
As such crime fighting in Jamaica has been totally politicized.
If the new Administration uses even a little of the political capital it has in the fight against crime it will be characterized as being against poor people.
There is a common nonsense-notion which permeate a wide cross section of Jamaica which believes people have a right to commit crimes.
A government which make dealing with crime a priority is by default a Government against the people.
Welcome to Jamaica !
There is a huge sub-section, maybe the majority of Jamaicans who are inherently opposed to the rule of law . This sub-set is quite willing to have a one-party state in order to avoid conforming to the rule of law.
I much rather see great investigative policing ‚it is the greatest deterrent to crime. I know that the courts have not yet received the memo that criminals belong in prisons but the police can at least do it’s job.