State of Emergency in St James causing criminals to migrate to Manchester
As lawmen struggle to bring order to the parish of St James with the public state of emergency, it appears disturbances are being caused in other parishes as criminals migrate to 'safer places'.
Manchester is one of those areas.
"We have people who are coming into our space because of the public state of emergency... . Manchester is considered one of the safer places and so we have to remain very alert and keep our ears close to the ground," revealed Superintendent of Police Wayne Cameron.
Cameron told The Gleaner that three men from Trelawny are now in custody following an operation where a number of illegal firearms were seized. He also said a man from a Trelawny address is being sought to provide information on a serial rapist, who may very well still be in the parish.
"We are advising residents that if you see strange persons in your community, call the police ... . We are on the ball and we are on the move to find those persons who come here for rescue."
The commander revealed that he has received a number of reports from Porus, Georges Valley, and Christiana, among other areas, about strange faces being seen in the communities.
He added that these criminals are coming in different forms, through various means, and citizens must be on the lookout.
"... There is a White Toyota Probox motor car going around with a male drive and a female passenger posing as a taxi and targeting young members of the travelling public, luring them away and robbing them... . I am urging the public to take licensed red-plate taxis and it is important that you take a mental picture of the registration plates, because you have people who are driving (legal) taxis who are giving us problems, too."
Reporting to JPs an option
Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell is imploring those who are afraid to report suspected criminal behaviour to the police to contact justices of the peace (JPs) within their communities.
"Crime is a major problem and you can say now that it is not your problem, but when it hits your door you will know. We need to make sure we give the police our full support. If you don't trust the police, you have justices of the peace that are in your areas, talk to them," Mitchell said.
As the parish battles with break-ins and robberies, it is believed that these migrant criminals are adding to the increase in numbers.
"We have had 30 break-ins in the parish since the start of the year. Criminals, after realising the increase in police presence in the night time, have moved to day time, particularly in areas that are off the main, and their items of choice are flat-screen television sets," added Cameron.
He also mentioned that a number of the robberies in the town happen along dark areas or poorly lit roadways and encouraged the Jamaica Public Service Company to look at those areas immediately.
Calls are now being made for an increase in patrols along areas where the parish borders other parishes.