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West Kingston Enquiry: 94 houses destroyed, hundreds damaged in 2010 operation

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 10:58 AMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The West Kingston Commission of Enquiry this morning heard evidence that 94 houses were destroyed during the 2010 police-military operations in Tivoli Gardens.

Chairman of the three-member commission, Sir David Simmons, says a statement provided by an official at the Ministry of Labour also indicated that 200 houses were severely damaged and 1,505 had minor damage.

Simmons said he found the information surprising and indicated that acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Collette Robert-Risden, will appear before the commission to give testimony about the methodology used to determine these numbers.

The issue came up while Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds was on the witness stand and Simmons wanted to know if the figures surprised him.

"It would surprise me," Hinds replied.

Attorneys for the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force also appeared surprised by the disclosure.

"I gather there is a statement from someone at the Ministry of Labour, but it's the first time we are hearing about this," said Deborah Martin, one of the attorneys for the JCF.

The enquiry was established to probe, among other things, the conduct of the May 2010 operations in the west Kingston community.

More than 70 people were killed in the operations that were aimed at capturing drug kingpin Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.