Members of the JDF look on as a member of the JCF checks car documents at the newly installed ZOSO check point erected in Norwood, St. James

Guns, ammunition seized, men detained

Two illegal firearms have been seized along with 18 rounds of ammunition, while three men have been detained, among them a person of interest, as the Zone of Special Operations, ZOSO, imposed on the volatile Norwood community in North West St. James, has seemingly begun to reap success.


The lawmen seized a .380 Bereta Pistol with an entangled magazine and seven .380 cartridges as well as a Black and Chrome 9mm pistol with a magazine containing eleven 9mm cartridges and two cellphones.


The firearms were seized during a targeted raid in an area known as ‘Texas’ in the community before 8 o’clock Monday morning, however, no one has been taken into custody in relation to the seizure.


Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay noted that there are other persons of interest that the security forces “intend to go after”.

Members of the JDF look on as a member of the JCF checks car documents at the newly installed ZOSO check point erected in Norwood, St. James


Norwood, which has been branded by the security forces as the hot spot for murders, and the seat of six gangs operating in the parish, was declared the 5th Zone of Special Operations by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Sunday, hours after a large police /military contingent blanketed the community setting up checkpoints at strategic locations and cutting off access points to the area.


He said Norwood which has a population of approximately 11, 800, logged 15 murders and 14 shootings since the start of the year the highest for any community in the parish.


“The ZOSO will target this area and will bring some peace to the community, and will give an opportunity for that community to turn a new leaf in its existence,” the prime minister said.


In the meantime, Major Antony Anderson, Commissioner of Police, who also spoke at the press conference, said 79 murders were committed in St. James with several shootings since the start of the year, with majority of them occurring in Norwood.


He also said several shootings and murders have taken place outside of Norwood which have been attributed to the six gangs operating in the community.


The operation is expected to engage the twin facets of traditional crime fighting with social intervention to smash the criminal grip on the community.


Meanwhile, residents have responded with mixed views on the imposition of the ZOSO in the community with one resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity saying:


“From what I see so far it not strict, kinda too loose. Dem must check all the vehicle dem. But mek wi watch and see what gwaan later on.”


Another man responded: well di gun shot dem neh ring out last night mi sleep good. Suh, mi glad fi di ZOSO.”
The latest murder in the Norwood was committed on Thursday of last week when unknown assailants shot and killed a man along Church Lane.

Barrington Flemming- Staff Reporter