No increase in crime in Orange Bay– Supt Beeput
Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the police commander for Hanover, is flatly rejecting claims by Lucea’s mayor, Sheridan Samuels, that crime has increased in the Orange Bay section of the parish since the removal of a military checkpoint from the area.
In voicing his objection to the removal of the checkpoint, which was instituted as a part of the state of public emergency in the western parish, Samuels said that since its removal several weeks ago, crime has increased in the area, which is a renowned criminal hotspot.
“What is noticeable is the fact that since the removal of the checkpoint, there are a number of murders that have taken place down there. I understand that a decomposing body was recently found in the area. I am certain that if the checkpoint was there, there is no way that that body could be dumped there,” Samuels said, while addressing Thursday’s general meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation.
He also noted that information had reached him about an increase in criminal activities in districts adjoining Orange Bay.
The mayor said that since his initial outcry, the checkpoint was brought back for one day and then removed again.
“This leaves me to wonder why is it that it (the checkpoint) was placed there for one day and then removed again; what is the rationale behind that?” Samuels asked.
However, when The Gleaner spoke to Beeput about the mayor’s assertion, she was dismissive of his claim and flatly denied that there was any increase in crime in the area.
“I am not aware of that, not in that area. There is no increase in crime in that area,” said Beeput.
She, nonetheless, noted that, depending on the availability of resources, the checkpoint might be re-established from time to time for varying periods. She said shifting resources, as per the need, is part of the strategy to keep crime under control.
While supporting the mayor’s concern about the removal of the military checkpoint, Marvell Sewell, councillor for the Green Island division, said he is concerned about the lack of street lighting in that area, despite the fact that the Ministry of Local Government has granted approval for the stretch of roadway from Orange Bay to Negril to be properly lit with street lights.