Some residents are aiding criminals in Hanover - DSP Beeput
While she remains resolute and determined to break the back of the ongoing lawlessness plaguing the parish, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sheron Beeput, the commanding officer for Hanover, says some residents are assisting criminals to evade the police.
According to Beeput, whose policing initiatives have resulted in the arrest of 17 gangsters within recent weeks, the police would have been even more successful if some irresponsible residents were not alerting the gangsters whenever the police entered their communities.
"In some communities, the residents will call the criminals and tell them that the police are in the communities, allowing them time to go into hiding or flee the area," said Beeput. "It is not that we don't have good intelligence on these guys, we just need the support and the cooperation of the residents."
After a bloody start to the year, which saw a whopping 21 murders in the first three months of 2017, Beeput was able to stem the bloodletting for almost two months by using the military and the police to carry out targeted raids against the parish's three main gangs - the One Voice, 100 Rounds, and One Link. During the period, 17 gangsters were arrested and two killed in confrontations with the police.
However, following the period of lull, which saw the parish recording just one killing over a five-week period, the guns are barking again. Within the past two weeks, there have been six murders, inclusive of a quadruple murder in Mt Carmel earlier this week.
While fear is now gripping many communities, Beeput is imploring residents to get on board in the fight to prevent the lawlessness from exploding again.
... 'Not a fight for police alone'
"This is not a fight for the police alone, the citizens need to come on board and help us to get the violence producers," Deputy Superintendent of Police Sheron Beeput has said. "We have the military and the police on the ground in the parish (Hanover), but for us to be successful, we need the cooperation of the residents."
In addition to the 17 gangsters who have been arrested, Beeput said that the police have other gangsters on their radar, including at least one major player, who she believes needs to be taken out of circulation quickly based on his penchant for extreme violence.
In the latest incident to rock Hanover, gunmen invaded a family house in Mt Carmel district on Monday night and murdered four members of one family, after kicking down their door. The victims were identified as: 60-year-old taxi operator Curtis Walters; his common-law wife, 34-year-old Erica Leslie; his 17-year-old son, Iana Walters; and his 14-year-old daughter, Curtina Walters, a student of Green Island High School.
At a recent Gleaner Light on Violence forum in Hanover, members of the business community said the violence was destroying commerce in the parish and driving away potential investors.