Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Residents of Logwood, Hanover, are desperate to remove the stigma of the community being a haven for criminals and are making an appeal to the police to be more proactive in their approaches.
"We have been suffering because of incidents that have happened in the past. There is an unmeritted reputation of lawlessness ... and the police seem to be operating with a preconceived notion about us," community barber Donald 'Tott' Gray told Western Focus.
"This community is one of the best places to live in Jamaica, and we are determined to preserve that. We have no war, we are one family, and we support each other's ventures."
Hazel Fletcher, a 75-five-year-old minister of religion, admitted that there were some undesirables in the village in her childhood days.
"There were some bad men living in the area when I was a child, but it is not so now," she said. "These youngters in Logwood are not different from youths in another community, but they are not wrongdoers."
The community numbers about 6,000 residents with most employed in the hotel sector, while farming is a way of life for many.
But the residents say improved relations with the cops is crucial.
"Where I am concerned, we don't go around and brand communities. This is not a stigma from the police. This is communities stigmatising other communities," commented Inspector McCarthy, subofficer in charge of the Green Island Police Station.
"Logwood community is no different from any other area," he added.
Added Gray: "As a community, we don't promote idleness, nor do we allow our young ones to sit on the streetside. We try to grow our children as a family."
The community has a vibrant neighbourhood watch system and no one can move around without being quizzed about his or her mission, as this reporter eventually found out.
"No stranger comes here unnoticed; we are serious about our security. But we need the bad reputation to move from over Logwood because we are law-abiding citizens," he added.