Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Keep fleeing gangsters out of St Bess – Green

Published:Wednesday | May 8, 2019 | 12:17 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:

Concerned that gangsters fleeing the state of public emergency (SOE) in Westmoreland, Hanover, and St James could target St Elizabeth in their bid to escape justice, Floyd Green, the member of parliament for South West St Elizabeth, is calling on residents and the local police to be on the alert.

Green expressed concern that gunmen might access the parish through the mountains, as was done by members of the notorious Ratty Gang when they fled the SOE in St James last year.

“Having the state of emergency in St James, Westmoreland and Hanover is a step in the right direction, but clearly, one of the things we have to ensure is that we are quite aware that when these parishes come under additional attention from the police and the army, that those with intent will seek to flee, and unfortunately, the closest parish is the parish of St Elizabeth,” said Green.

Green, who is also the state minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, urged the police to be vigilant and clamp down on migration and preserve St Elizabeth’s reputation as the safest parish in western Jamaica.

APPROPRIATE MEASURES

“I want to use this opportunity to encourage our local police to ensure that no stone is left unturned in keeping out these gangsters,” said Green.

“Appropriate measures must be put in place so that those who would want to take up a hiding place in another parish will have no space in St Elizabeth to hide.”

Green, however, rapped the police for failing to engage with residents to ensure that information on the ground is relayed to law enforcers. He also pleaded with residents to be proactive in reporting the presence of strangers instead of waiting for tragedy to unfold.

Last year when the SOE was declared in St James, scores of criminals, including members of the Ratty Gang and the Ski Mask Gang, reportedly migrated, expanding their empires through lottery scamming, extortion and contract killing.

“Just as how you have the gangsters from Clarendon, St Catherine, Kingston and St Andrew, and St Thomas having an extortion network, it is much the same thing with St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St James and Trelawny, having a criminal network built around lottery scamming,” a St James resident told The Gleaner yesterday.

“Until we remove crime as an option to wealth and engage these youngsters with lawful ways to earn a living, we will continue to have these challenges.”

editorial@gleanerjm.com