(Jamaica Gleaner) Security expert Lieutenant Commander George Overton says that crime in Jamaica is far more sophisticated than previously thought and that the authorities have failed to accept the level of organised criminality at play.
“I do not believe that we have accepted the level of organisation behind crime in Jamaica, and if you step out of line as to what organised crime dictated, then there are enforcers to deal with you,” Overton said. “Organised crime is organised,” he said.
He was alluding to the disclosure by National Security Minister Robert Montague, who stated that the police know that five illegal guns are involved in 92 shooting incidents that accounted for a number of murders. Montague was speaking at the launch of the National CCTV System, JamaicaEye, on Wednesday.
“Five of the ‘most wanted’ guns in Jamaica are responsible for 92 shooting incidents, 58 of which have ended in the loss of a life,” stated Montague.
“I must commend the security forces for recovering one of those five wanted guns in Spanish Town, recently. That gun was responsible for 23 shooting incidents, 19 of which resulted in the loss of a life,” the minister said.
Overton told The Gleaner that he believed that the guns in question are not necessarily part of the much-talked-about illegal gun rental scheme but that it shows an extricable link between gangs and their respective enforcers.
“I am of the opinion that there are enforcers within the criminal network and, therefore, I believe that those five guns the minister alluded to are in the hands of those enforcers,” Overton said.
“What the minister didn’t say was whether the guns were being used in one geographic space or multiple geographic spaces because that tells another story,” he said.
Overton said that the level of orchestration that modern gangs employ is, in many ways, rendering useless some crime-fighting strategies.
“I don’t think the authorities have been able to measure the actual size and impact of organised crime. We talk about the number of active gangs in the country being monitored, but I don’t think we have come to grips with the coordination of these gangs,” he reasoned.