Criminals are believed to be taking extreme steps to avoid detection due to a crackdown on gang activities by the Jamaican police and military.
They reportedly dress in women’s clothes and wear wigs to disguise their appearance.
Gang members are putting on women’s clothing and wigs to avoid being identified while other gangsters are even bleaching their skin or growing facial hair to change their physical appearance, the BBC reports.
According to Superintendent Howard Chambers, head of operations in the St Catherine North Division, Operation Resilience — which started this month — has triggered an exodus of criminals from several communities, including Spanish Town and neighbouring areas.
These new measures to avoid arrest come as authorities have begun applying additional pressure on gangs as part of a concerted effort to reduce the crime rate.
Howard Chambers is quoted by the Jamaica Observer as saying that some criminals “are going as far as changing their identities and wearing women’s clothing to pass through communities undetected.
“Those who had long hair or locks are cutting off their hair, while others are trying to grow beards to hide their identity,” Chambers said.
He admitted that the strategies are not new, but he assured the public that the police will not ease up on the operation.
Meanwhile, the danger to police officers in Jamaica continues to rise.
The Jamaica Star newspaper says the official threat level against officers has been raised to “extreme” – which means an attack on them officers is deemed to be “imminent.”
Parts of Jamaica, such as the capital, Kingston, Montego Bay and Spanish Town, have been plagued by gang crime and violence for years.
The island has one of the world’s highest murder rates.
Jamaica has one of the world’s highest mµrder rates in the world. Political and law enforcement leaders understand the challenge of taking on the gangs but have no choice given the level of violence.