Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Fixing Clarendon is every resident’s problem

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 1:00 AM
Head of the Clarendon police, Senior Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell.

If Senior Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell has her way, Clarendon will soon be the ideal place to live and raise a family.

At a special Gleaner Editors' Forum on Thursday at the Versalles Hotel in the parish, Powell stressed her determination to bring the crime figures down.

Last year, the parish had the third-highest murder rate in the country and Powell is now asking 'her Clarendon citizens' to stop accepting crime and violence as the norm.

"What I want my citizens of Clarendon to do for 2017, is to stop accepting crime and violence as the norm. Any day our citizens stop accepting crime and violence as the norm in society, we will have somewhere going," she told the panel of reporters and other stakeholders from the parish.

She also urged citizens to speak out, call and write about it.

Cameron-Powell chided some on the callous and uncaring attitude being exhibited towards crime in the parish.

"I am seeing where with some of my citizens in Clarendon, the body drop last night, and you want to party on that spot next morning. And it is accepting of crime, like you don't care. We want to change that, the whole mindset, the whole culture and that is the way the police are going at," are the ominous words coming from the commander of the Clarendon division.

Youth for Change and Peace In May Pen founder, Dei Rasi Freckleton wants to see a more collaborative effort employed in bringing down the crime figures in the parish. For him, too many entities are planning social interventions and doing them in isolation.

"I am doing something and I keep it to myself, and you are doing something and I don't support you, and the criminals are ganging up on the system," he said.

There will be no real change or result, he said, until the various entities in the parish pool their resources and strength. Anything else, he said, will be a losing battle.

- CCL