Cops: Rockfort quiet, tense
Divisional chief of the East Kingston police division, Superintendent Victor Hamilton, has commended the three persons who came forward and took responsibility for hosting an unauthorised bike fest at the intersection of Wareika and D’Aguilar roads on the night of December 26, 2019, when four persons were shot and injured.
The police had refused to grant permission for the event because of tensions in the area.
The three persons have since been served with summonses to appear in court this month.
“They stepped forward. Is like them man up, and so they have a court date to answer to the charges,” Hamilton told The Gleaner.
The persons who owned up were actually warned by the police on Boxing Day when they were seen setting up a bar, as well as equipment to play music.
Hamilton described their defiance of orders on the night as deliberate and well orchestrated to avoid detection, since lawmen had maintained a presence in the area even after midnight.
He said the persons, having been advised that the permit was denied because tensions in the area could have led to violence, knew well the risks since they were from the community.
“When that particular person goes further to defy the instructions of the police and to use social media to lure unsuspecting persons to the area … you don’t put up a poster, because the police will see it and take action, then you should face the consequences of your actions,” he insisted.
While there had been a walkthrough of the area by member of parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell, Hamilton said that he could not say whether that intervention could be credited for the relative calm in the area.
“It is still quiet, but very tense nonetheless. But we are happy for any kind of peace we can have,” he noted, while acknowledging that the police continue to be hampered by the unwillingness of residents to share information.
“Without information, the job of the police is made that much harder to arrest persons, get convictions, and rid the communities of gangs. We are still asking persons to rethink their situation – that the gangs are their saviour,” said the divisional chief.
Hamilton described as unfortunate the fact that so many residents within the East Kingston Police Division remain trapped, depending on the proceeds of crime for economic survival.
“So them naw give you information because their son is involved or the neighbour’s son is involved, and if anything comes across, they will benefit in some way. It is just such a tragedy that persons can’t seem to understand that their lives would be so much better without the presence of guns and gangs, that they would lead a much better quality of life.”