Sat | Dec 4, 2021

Man set for deportation argues J’can thugs would kill him

Published:Monday | August 16, 2021 | 12:48 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter

A Jamaican man currently appealing his deportation order from the United Kingdom is claiming that if he is returned to the island, his life will be in danger as notorious gangsters want him dead.

The man is from a Corporate Area community within one of the island’s most murderous police divisions.

While not disclosing how long the man has been away from Jamaica or whether he had committed a crime in the United Kingdom, solicitors acting on his behalf say his main concern now is about his safety if returned to Jamaica.

The man was spared from a $64-million UK Home Office deportation flight that landed in the island last Wednesday with seven Jamaicans aboard, a significant cut from the 90 originally earmarked for the trip.

The UK Home Office has maintained that persons set for removal are convicts, some of whom have been imprisoned for more than 12 months and some who overstayed and refuse to leave of their own accord.

The man is from one of those impoverished communities in Jamaica with a history of high gang and criminal violence.

Though he may not have to return to said community, which is an argument the UK Home Office may pursue, there are fears that the reach of gangsters who want him dead is immeasurable, people fighting on his behalf say.

His solicitors will argue at his next hearing that nowhere in Jamaica is safe for their client as per their instructions.

The latest statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force show that there are 379 gangs in Jamaica.

Of this number, 262 are considered active gangs, which reflects an increase of five per cent over 2019.

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang has consistently said that gang violence is the primary factor for the rising murder rate.

As of August 11, Jamaica recorded 876 murders, a nine per cent increase year on year.

Chang has also informed Parliament that the Corporate Area continues to account for the largest proportion of gangs, and he underscored that they enjoyed the strong backing of some communities.

The police’s Area 4 – which comprises the Kingston Western, Kingston Central, Kingston Eastern, St Andrew Central, and St Andrew South Police Divisions – accounts for 249, or 64 per cent, of the total number of known gangs across Jamaica.