August Town anguish
THE EDITOR, Madam:
AUGUST TOWN is perfectly situated to accommodate students from the adjacent University of the West Indies. Hence, opening their homes to boarders has become a main source of income for many residents. However, there is not a day that passes without the barking of guns. Between April 1 and 7, there have been three murders. This has forced most of the students to move out, leaving the rooms and pockets empty.
Most of the shooting is gang-related. However, to date, nobody can say exactly what they are ‘fighting’ for.
Many social-intervention programmes have been introduced in the community through the Peace Management Initiative and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme. However, this has done little to stop the mayhem, and its failure is a testimony to the fact that social intervention is a total waste on animalistic people.
The perpetrators are well known to everyone, including the police, as the SAME names are called after every killing. Some have actually been caught on cameras, installed by the police in the community. Yet, the morning after each shooting, they roam the streets freely with little fear of the ‘short arm of the law’.
There is a high police presence in the area with frequent, daily patrols. But the policing is very ineffective as they are basically just ‘driving up and down’. And as soon as they, leave, the gunmen waltz out.
After the recent shootings, the member of parliament came on the radio suggesting ZOSO would help. However, ZOSO has proved itself more of an inconvenience for people going to school and work, than a deterrent for gunmen. There are about 10,000 residents in August Town and no more than 50 gunmen. The logical option would be to identify the 50 gunmen, where they live, and who their associates are, and concentrate all efforts on finding them. However, I fear we will opt for the alternative approach.