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SSP McGregor gets most wanted ‘Titty’

Published:Saturday | May 2, 2015 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater
Steve McGregor

AT LEAST 24 hours after demanding that Andre 'Titty' Samuels - the sole wanted man in Rose Heights, St James - turns himself in to the police, Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor, the commanding officer for the St James Police Division, got his wish.

Samuels, who the police said was the prime suspect in the slaying of Janice Gordon, who was shot dead in the Rose Heights community on Monday, April 6, turned himself in just hours after McGregor made an appeal for him to surrender at a community meeting, which the police had organised.

"The man (Samuels) responded to the call and turned himself in ... so he is now in custody," McGregor told The Gleaner.

"To date, some 15 wanted men have turned themselves in after similar appeals were made at different community meetings ... . It should be interesting to note that not a single shot was fired in any of the 15 cases. Once you turn yourself in freely, there is no need for the use of force," the senior cop explained.

upsurge of violence

Gordon was one of three persons killed during a recent upsurge of violence in Rose Heights. The shootings, which have broken the fragile peace that existed in the community, have caused the St James police to once again designate the community a hotspot for crime.

During the community meeting, which took place at the Rose Heights United Full Gospel Church of God, McGregor not only named Samuels as the community's lone wanted man, but also outlined plans to restore order, including the imposition of a curfew.

"As of 8 p.m., all shop bars and shop restaurants will be closed until I say when," said McGregor, noting that he did not intend to inconvenience the good people of the community for very long. "Even though I am going to punish those (criminals) persons who are intent on breaking the law, I am not going to allow them to keep the good people of Rose Heights at ransom for long," noted McGregor.

Since the start of 2015, the St James Police Division has been leading other divisions

in terms of murders, prompting Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams to reassign McGregor to the division.

Up to last week, St James had recorded 52 murders since the start of the year. The Mount Salem area, which includes Rose Heights, has accounted for 12 of those murders.

McGregor said that St James is a tough division to police because of its culture of crime and, as such, he will be seeking to forge a partnership with residents to make the fight against lawlessness a joint police-citizens initiative.