Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Denham Town residents bask in peace brought by ZOSO

Published:Tuesday | October 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Veronica Ricketts, a 71-year-old resident of Denham Town, west Kingston, with Terrence Williams (second left), commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM); Taneish Wisdom-Banton (second right), senior investigator; and Nigel Morgan, director of complaints at INDECOM, on Bond Street in Denham Town during a tour of the community yesterday. Denham Town is now under a zone of special operations.

Residents of Denham Town are already asking for an extension of the zone of special operations (ZOSO) beyond its initial 60-day lifspan, citing much-needed peace and calm brought about by the presence of the security forces, while praising the police and soldiers for their professional approach.

The sentiment was expressed during a tour of the community yesterday by Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) Commissioner Terrence Williams, who checked on persons who may be in custody and advised residents of their rights in relation to excessive use of force. He also shared with them how to access INDECOM should they need to make a complaint and to give information.

"Honestly, most people in the community are not used to being treated so good by the police, but I have two children, and I can tell you that they are afraid to sleep at nights because of the gunshots. Is plenty nights we have to sleep on the floor," said resident Mark Leslie.

"God know is the best me ever sleep in a long time. My only wish is that they extend it beyond the New Year," he said.

Williams said the general consensus is that residents understood that freedom of movement was something they had to give up for order to be restored to the community.

"So far, the public has expressed their satisfaction and it seems as if it is working in a way which is quite conducive to public order and public cooperation," Williams said.

 

LACK OF MAJOR SUCCESSSES

 

One resident, however, is concerned about the lack of major successes, noting that it was strange that no illegal firearm has been found since the area was declared a ZOSO.

In addressing that, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, ZOSO Communications Unit spokesperson, said that operations were ongoing, adding that the security forces were determined to find illegal weapons and wanted men, identified as reasons for naming the West Kingston community the second ZOSO.

"We are into day six in this zone, and so far we have seized some ammunition and one magazine. We have also found a rifle-cleaning kit, which is an indication that the guns are somewhere in the community which we intend to search for," Lindsay said.

"We would have loved to find these weapons by now, but we also recognise that weapons are treasured possessions for the criminal underworld. They are going to do everything to hide them from seizure, but we will continue our work here in the zone to find those guns, and to arrest wanted men."

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com