JAM | Nov 20, 2023

Holness says Salt Spring triple murder arrests show police’s improved intelligence gathering capabilities

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness responding to questions from media at a press conference convened at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Thursday, August 3, 2023. (OUR TODAY photo)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has commended members of the secfor their work in apprehending a person of interest on Friday, November 17, in relation to the triple murder in Salt Spring, St James, which claimed the lives of two schoolboys and a man.

“I heard some good news that the accused person in the triple murder, including the murder of two young children in Salt Spring, was captured. Good work DCP, good work CDS [Chief of Defence Staff] in capturing,” the prime minister said during a security briefing upon his arrival on the island on Saturday, November 18, from Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Clifford Blake, in charge of strategic operations, reported that a joint operation between the security forces resulted in the arrest of a person of interest named as Travis Cummings.

“He was the main suspect in the murder of those three persons in Salt Spring, including the two children. He was held last night and currently, investigators are actually interviewing so that’s a significant operational success for the security forces,” Blake said.

DCP Clifford Blake

The JCF said that a maintenance worker at a guest house was also detained during the operation.

His identity was not revealed by the police.

The two schoolboys met their demise after the taxi in which they were travelling home from school was shot up by gunmen along the Flower Hill main road in Salt Spring on Monday, November 6.

In the meantime, Blake said the SOEs continue to positively impact the St James environment.

“The successes of the SOE in St James has not only been an inspiration for the citizens of St James, but it has been an inspiration for the members of the security forces. We are utilising the powers under the regulation to go after these gang members and last night’s could be attributed to the operational success we are having,” he said.


Holness said the arrest of Cummings demonstrates the effectiveness of the security forces.

“I think DCP this is good news, I think Jamaica should take note of the effectiveness of our security forces and we generally define effectiveness sometimes in terms of the use of a hammer on these criminals. People would rejoice that maybe this culprit was killed but the truth of the fact is that our security forces must follow all the necessary protocols regarding the use of force and so you were able to capture this person alive. I am certain that he will go through the process and be brought to the courts for the courts to dispense justice to him.

“I must tell you I am very proud of how the operation was conducted. I got some reports on how this suspect was captured in times gone by when such heinous crimes have been committed the perpetrators sometimes elude capture and for months we don’t find them but I think this is a also testament not to just the improved operational standards but our improved intelligence gathering both our human intelligence and our signal intelligence and in terms of cooperation with our international partners and cooperation with the community. I think it’s a good sign for the operations in the future and it should be a signal to criminals, you may think you are safe, you may think you will escape but that’s not true, the JCF and JDF have really stepped up their game in apprehending the criminals,” he outlined.


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