Thu | Oct 24, 2019

Concerns linger on day three of crackdown

Published:Friday | May 3, 2019 | 12:36 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force personnel confront a man at a checkpoint in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, on day three of the state of public emergency on Thursday. The security crackdown was declared in Hanover, St James, and Westmoreland, the parishes with the highest per-capita incidence of murder, outside of the Corporate Area, in 2019. Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor
Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force personnel confront a man at a checkpoint in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, on day three of the state of public emergency on Thursday. The security crackdown was declared in Hanover, St James, and Westmoreland, the parishes with the highest per-capita incidence of murder, outside of the Corporate Area, in 2019. Ricardo Makyn/Chief Photo Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:

Residents of Hanover, one of the three parishes blanketed by the state of public emergency (SOE) that was declared on Tuesday are expressing mixed feelings about the three-day-old crime-fighting initiative.

While some persons are happy, others are saying there is no equity in the treatment when compared to the other parishes.

“Dem come pick up me pickney and now me nuh know whether me fi go a Montego Bay or Lucea fi check pan him ‘cause dem say all Hanover prisoners dem deh a Montego Bay,” a distraught mother told The Gleaner yesterday as she stood crestfallen at a bus terminus in the western parish.

A statement from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) stated that all detainees from Hanover were being held at the Barnett Street lock-up in Montego Bay, St James.

Checks by The Gleaner have revealed that despite extensive refurbishing work at the main lock-up in Lucea, the Hanover parish capital, the facility is about 90 per cent complete. At present, only a small holding area is being used at that facility for temporary detentions before transfer to Montego Bay.

In the township of Hopewell, where some four drive-by shootings and four murders have occurred over the past two months, residents were openly rejoicing at having soldiers and police conducting round-the-clock patrols. Despite the restrictions, they can walk the streets without fear and sleep more comfortably at night.

“My only concern is that them (the security personnel) not finding the guns. They take up some of the troublemakers off the streets for a period, but no gun naw find,” a taxi operator told The Gleaner.

“I am afraid that as soon as SOE done, the youth them will go right back to them unruly ways.”

One gun and nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition have been seized since the three-day operation.

Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the police’s Corporate Communications Unit, said yesterday that persons who wish to check on the whereabouts of relatives who have been detained should go to the police headquarters in Lucea or call 876-837-9940 or 876-837-9940.

Up to 10 a.m. Thursday, 37 persons had been detained across the three parishes, with six being from Hanover, Garrick told The Gleaner.

“Persons picked up for processing will be processed and released within 24 hours unless we have a further investigative need, so if you are picked up and when we are doing our processing, there is nothing that requires you to be further detained for any processing, then you are released within 24 hours of being picked up,” she added.

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