Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Guy’s Hill murder free – Dacres

Published:Friday | February 28, 2020 | 12:22 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

The Guy’s Hill police in North East St Catherine has managed to rack up an enviable record of not having a single murder in their division in two years, way below the national average of almost five per day, and they are bent on keeping the streak alive.

What makes it more impressive is that they have achieved this with only one service vehicle making the rounds in 38 major communities, spanning sections of three parishes – St Ann, St Mary and St Catherine.

The secret to their impressive record, according to Sergeant Delroy Dacres, is an active community policing strategy.

“The truth is, we have not been having any reports of serious crimes; we haven’t had any murders for two years now,” the sergeant said.

clearer picture

Don’t take their word for it, ask the residents and the picture becomes that much clearer.

“There are some hard-working policemen at that station. We happy with how they conduct themselves and it gives us residents confidence when we need to talk and share information with them,” said one elderly gentleman, who gave his name only as ‘Dads’.

Kareene Williamson, who has been employed for more than 25 years at the Guy’s Hill Postal Service, also approves.

“Yes, they have been good for the area and they are actively doing what they supposed to do as the police.”

But, in spite of the proud record, the Guys Hill police said there are a few things they could do well with, to make their job a lot more comfortable.

Topping the list is the need for another vehicle, which they said would help to slash response time, particularly in distant locations.

As it relates to the unwelcomed tally of reported domestic abuse, the Guy’s Hill police receive at least two reports per week, and they are keen to help citizens mitigate those also.

“What we found is that these domestic abuses or domestic violence cases have a lot to do with the socio-economic realities of the people. The focus should be brought to bear on that,” said Sergeant Dacres, who has vowed to give it special attention.

community intervention

“The reports keep coming in; thankfully, none has ended in murder. But be reminded that domestic abuse also involves squabbles between rival siblings, husband and wife, parents and children,” said Dacres.

Boasting of the brand-new four-wheel drive service vehicle assigned to the station, Sergeant Dacres said, while not the ideal, they make it work through proper community policing and the scheduling of patrols in the various communities, and quick response when called upon by residents.

“For example, if you went to Dillon Town and Castle Kelly (both St Ann communities) yesterday, you don’t necessarily go back today. So our planning is vital and we are doing well,” said the sergeant.

Further, he told The Gleaner the police contingent has bought into the idea of serving the people wholeheartedly, even when they are undermanned or lacking significant resources.

The citizens, he said, have also played their part in helping to maintain the peace through effective communication.

“We have been encouraging the residents to report any strange faces in the area, whether relatives of other families or not, because, once anyone moves into the community, we try to keep an eye on them,” Sergeant Dacres said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com