Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Sundown shutdown - Cops urge residents of Tivoli and Denham Town to leave the streets by 6 p.m.

Published:Sunday | March 20, 2016 | 3:00 AMCorey Robinson
Police on foot patrol in a section of the troubled west Kingston community yesterday.

The police in western Kingston are urging residents of Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town to wrap up their activities and be inside their houses by six each evening.

This is the latest part of efforts by the cops to clamp down on the latest flare-up of violence involving gangsters in the two communities.

"It won't be forever, but for now, it is just one of the strategies that we have to employ," head of the West Kingston Police Division, Superintendent Howard Chambers, told The Sunday Gleaner.

Chambers was responding to criticisms from residents and business operators who claim the clampdown, imposed last weekend, has been painful.

"In order to protect the people, and based on the number of persons and the number of police that we have, we see it best to lock down the communities and ask the residents to go into their houses in the evenings so we can improve visibility," said Chambers.

"Most of the places that we are patrolling are very dark at nights and visibility is very poor, so one of our strategies is really to lock down the place. That way, we can better protect the residents and also ourselves," added Chambers.

Over the past two weeks, gangsters have resumed open warfare in the west Kingston communities, with numerous shooting incidents reported.

Chambers said the last fatality occurred one week ago when Torrian Aldhene was gunned down in Denham Town.

Our news team has also confirmed that two persons were also shot in the communities last week.

COWERING IN FEAR

The incidents have left residents cowering in fear, but still some are criticising the police for what they claim is the criminal-like restrictions to their movements.

But Chambers argued that this is one of several measures being used by the cops to restore calm to the area.

"Most of these shootings occur on the corridors, so we have been concentrating much of our attention and leaving some resources in those areas," said Chambers.

He said the cops have also increased their mobile and foot patrols in the communities and have summoned persons of interest for questioning.

Among those summoned by the police are Andrew 'Livity' Coke, Devon Saunders, otherwise called 'Cutty', of Denham Town, and Steve Allen, otherwise called 'Frenchie', of Charles Street.

"We are still investigating the reason for this latest flare-up but this thing is really a long-time feud and from time to time they come together and broker peace.

"But even then, it is very sensitive, any little quarrel, any little fight or tension, and it trigger it again," said Chambers.

Last September, warring thugs from both communities brokered peace after some 20 persons were murdered in tit-for-tat shootings.

But that has failed to hold, and since the start of this year, six persons have been murdered in the West Kingston Police Division.