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Police to maintain presence in May Pen this Yuletide season

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

The Clarendon police are assuring the public that this festive season will be safer for them to do business in the town centre as a result of certain tactical changes being implemented to reduce the level of crime committed against shoppers during this busy period.

Superintendent in charge of operations, David White, said the police will be continuing its partnership with the Jamaica Defence Force throughout the Yuletide season, and beyond, to ensure public safety and order in all the major towns in the parish.

"We will be putting in a 'Grand Market village', which will be a designated area to be used throughout the Yuletide season to accommodate the increased economic activities from vending throughout the period, especially on grand market day," said White.

He said Main Street allows easier access for criminals, but it acts as a deterrent for the police, as they are unable to move about with the level of urgency they need to keep order in the town.

"The Fire Brigade and ambulance are also not able to move quickly, and so we are trying to alleviate that problem and reduce the risk of people being robbed, especially persons conducting business along Main Street, where the banks are located. A lot of people are targeted at this time and we want to reduce that."

The grand market village opened on Monday and will close on January 5.




There will be increased police personnel to man the streets and the CCTVs are fully functional.

Superintendent White said most of the vendors who are resisting the change are migrant vendors from other parishes, but he is adamant that they will have to abide by the rules.

"When a town becomes chaotic, crime tends to escalate. But when there is order, we are able to reduce crime, and we are trying to reduce the amount of crime committed against citizens during this time. That is why we have designated areas for vending," he said, adding that some vendors don't come because they want to vend, they come to act as cover for criminal elements.

Meanwhile, SSP Vendolyn Cameron Powell said there has been at least a 15 per cent decrease in robberies and an increase in police presence is expected to result in a further reduction.