Sun | May 31, 2020

Red Hills Road jerk vendors feel pinch from gang war

Published:Thursday | September 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
A jerk chicken vendor prepares his product on Red Hills Road in St Andrew.

At least one jerk chicken vendor has launched an appeal for warring gangsters on Red Hills Road in St Andrew to avoid targeting him and his colleagues.

Woes started for the vendors at 108 Red Hills Road earlier this month when one of their colleagues was murdered by gunmen.

Following this, the jerk vendor, who wished not to be named, said the police ordered them to stop operating in the area. This has been causing a stir among chicken salesmen and other business people in the vicinity.

The vendor told The Gleaner that he and his colleagues are even willing to pay for police protection so business can resume.

"Anybody who come out, dem seh dem a go throw dem chicken and pork a dirt and lick down the pan dem. We need fi go back pon di road. We want warring factions to know that they should not trouble the the chicken man dem because we are not involved in dem war.

"If di police dem stay out there until 10 o'clock at night, if we really have to give them something, dat affi go gwaan. If we work $15,000 and we have to give the police $2,000, that is how it will go," the man told The Gleaner.

He highlighted that jerk vendors who sell close to Pricesmart have been capitalising on his predicament.

"Di other day one long line out deh. One chicken man seh a di first him done so early. Him usually sell off by 1 am but him was off the road by 10 pm."

Contrary to what the vendor told The Gleaner, Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit, said vendors are operating as usual with just some restrictions.

"We have a responsibility to protect lives. The police have to restrict activities to bolster the safety of persons. Tension is still high between rival gangs."