Police plan to keep the lid on violence in St Andrew South division
The police are keeping a serious watch on sections of three communities in the St Andrew South division, where the threat of gang violence could derail the gains made in reducing crime so far this year.
"We are not seeing many of our hotspots acting up in recent times. Most of them are relatively quiet right now. Our major areas of concern are 'Capture Land' in Waterhouse, the general Two Miles stretch, and Maverley," said head of the St Andrew South Police division, Superintendent Arthur Brown.
He described Maverley, located off Washington Boulevard, among the most problematic areas in a division which is home to some of Jamaica's most impoverished and war-torn communities.
"We are paying particular attention to Maverley because there remains some gang tension there," added Brown, days after 23-year-old twin brothers Rhamone and Ramesh Cummings, both of an address in nearby Waterhouse, were fatally shot by police on Denver Crescent in the community.
The cops reported that they went to the area in search of wanted men and guns, and that upon entering the house where the twins were, a confrontation ensued that ended with the fatal shooting of the twins, who police say were involved in several killings in recent times.
The Independent Commission of Investigation launched a probe into the killing of the brothers and, since then, a mother has accused them of the murder of her 17-year-old son, Shaquille Brown.
ALLEGED GANG MEMBERS
The mother told reporters that after shooting her son more than 20 times, the twins fled Waterhouse and had settled in a section of Maverley called 'Tamarind Turn', where they met their demise at the hands of the cops.
It is alleged that they were part of a gang which has been plaguing the Carlos Park area in Waterhouse, where Brown was killed.
"We don't want to speak too much about the twins because we are still doing some investigations on them in relation to some other incidents. We wouldn't want to say too much about them right now," said the head of the police team in the area.
The St Andrew South Police division, which, in years gone by, has topped the island's murder stats, has recorded 27 murders since the start of this year. That is seven fewer than it recorded for the corresponding period last year.
"We are behind in the murder figures because of the increased pressure that we have been putting on the streets and the attention that we have been placing on our hotspot communities.
"There is tension in some places, but residents can be reassured that we are protecting them. We need their support, however," said Brown.