CAPRI launched its study, Guns Out: The Splintering of Jamaica’s Gangs, at a public forum on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel. CAPRI invited Major General Antony Anderson – Commissioner of Police, Ms. Kellie Magnus – Jamaica’s Country Lead at Fight for Peace and Mr. Jeremy Taylor QC - Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, to join Ms. Joanna Callen – Researcher at CAPRI for the panel discussion. Dr. Damien King – Executive Director at CAPRI moderated the evening’s discussion.
Callen shared that with Jamaica having a significantly high homicide of 47 per 100,000 when the global average is only 6 per 100,000, the splintering of gangs creates a greater problem. Jamaica is plagued with violence and gangs are the main contributors to the statistics. “Social interventions have been utilized but there are too many and they have not been properly monitored or evaluated, said Callen. She further explained that the social interventions cannot be substantiated if they were efficient or any help at all. High security presence or State of Emergencies work for the short term but are not sustainable for the long term. Jamaica not only have a crime problem but a violence problem.
Callen concluded the presentation by sharing some of the recommendations. These included: social interventions should have transparency and accountability; increase scope and depth of financial investigations; modify the threshold for electronically-related evidence; further the use of the plea bargain option and focus on preventing violence.