Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Rely on us - Robust security plan for mass rallies - - Senior Cop

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

With the two major political parties hosting mass rallies on Sunday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake has indicated that a robust plan is in place to ensure that persons are safe.

Two persons were fatally shot while others were injured during a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) meeting, which was held in Sam Sharpe Square on February 7.

The JLP will be hosting supporters in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, while the People's National Party (PNP) will be heading to the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay.

Blake told The Gleaner that the security forces are aware that persons would have concerns and, as such, have sought to allay fears by deploying an adequate number of officers in several areas across the island.




"We have taken into account what happened at the JLP meeting in Montego Bay. We continue to assess our deployment strategies, and we work according to our needs assessment. In relation to the two meetings on Sunday, I can assure the public that we have provided adequate security plans and persons can go and feel comfortable. The security forces will be out in their numbers to provide adequate safety," Blake declared.

He was quick to point out, however, that he believes Jamaicans have matured and, as such, there has been a drastic decrease in political tribalism.

"The truth is that we have seen a lot of political maturity. The political electorate has grown, and so what we are seeing is persons from both political parties existing in the same place, which is commendable. We had few incidents on nomination day, and that is an indication that we have come a long way. We are still not taking any chances and we will be taking the usual precautions," Blake told The Gleaner.

He said, though, that his biggest concern continues to be the lawlessness that is displayed by Jamaicans on the roads.

"Our concern continues to be the behaviour of persons on the road. They break the stop lights, they hang themselves outside the buses, and that then poses a great risk to not only themselves but other road users," he said. "We, therefore, urge them to desist from doing that," he added.