Jamaica’s security forces have heightened their presence in several Westmoreland communities due to the flare up of activities linked to the illicit lottery scam that led to the killing of seven people in the parish on Tuesday, police said.
Two children – a two-year-old and a 11-year-old – were among the seven killed in separate incidents in Sterling district and Top Lincoln, according to a news release issued by the corporate communications arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Eight others were reportedly injured in the shooting spree.
The police have attributed the most recent flare-up of violence to inter and intra-gang feud in the parish some of which is related to the illicit lottery scamming that has accounted for a large percentage of the murders, shootings and other violent crimes committed in parish.
Superintendent Gary McKenzie strongly condemned the brutal slayings and extended his deepest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of those who were slain by “ruthless gangsters”.
“No effort will be spared in bringing the killer/s to justice. Our future leaders are being brutally slain. I am appealing to the citizens to desist from providing a safe haven for these criminals and for the citizens of Jamaica to unite and help in the fight against crime,” he said.
He is also assuring residents that in order to mitigate the threat to public safety there will be special focus in areas of Sterling district, Top Lincoln, Kings Valley, Little London and Frome in the parish.
The lottery scam, which targets elderly Americans, has been a fuel for criminal activities in western Jamaica in recent years.
The Police are appealing to anyone who may have information about the incidents that can assist with the investigation can contact the Morgans Bridge Police at 955-1375, Crime Stop at 311, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.