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Police go all out to remove windscreen wipers due to reports of theft and abuse

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2016 | 12:00 AM

A series of complaints of theft and abuse in recent times has led the police to go after windscreen wipers once again, with full force to prosecute them for various breaches of the law.

Superintendent in charge of the Constabulary Communication Unit, Stephanie Lindsay, told The Gleaner yesterday that since Monday, the police have arrested a number of adult and underage windscreen wipers who operate at the Portia Simpson Miller Square traffic lights at Three Miles and also at Waterloo Road on the outskirts of New Kingston. However, the police could not guarantee that the 'hustlers' would not be out on the streets again.

"We have been getting several complaints and reports about the behaviour of those men who wipe windshields at the various stop lights. In light of the growing reports, we decided to enforce aspects of the law that we have pretty much not strictly enforced over time because we were not having those kinds of situations. Since yesterday (Monday), they have started arresting some of them at Portia Simpson Miller Square in Three Miles, as well as the Waterloo [Road] intersection. A number of them will be placed before the court for the breaches," Lindsay said.


She highlighted that the high number of underage boys involved was a major concern, and confirmed that the parents of some of the minors have been arrested for breaches under the Child Care and Protection Act.

"We also have significant concerns that a number of children are seen at the stop lights as well. When we do more investigation, we realise that the level of supervision that these kids are supposed to be getting from the parents is not there. Since (Monday), in some instances, the parents have been charged with not exercising proper care and guardianship. Investigators have located some of the parents and they have been charged ... . The kids are going to be taken before the Family Court, along with their mothers," she said.

The complaints, Lindsay said, range from abusive language directed at drivers to theft.

"Assistant Commissioner Terrence Bent is leading on this initiative. We are very serious about law enforcement, very serious about safety and security. As it relates to whether or not you will see any more of these guys out there, that's not a guarantee, because we don't dictate their movements. Where we see them, we will be prosecuting them.

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"There are some of them that are not involved in the things that we are getting the reports about, but, nonetheless, we don't know who the ones are, [so] we have to remove them all. We are appealing to the wider public that they are there and they only remain there when people support them, so if you support them by allowing them to wipe your windshield, they will always be there. When you stop and support them, you are actually aiding and abetting," she said.