Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Mayor of Montego Bay, Glendon Harris has argued that persons in "high places" are the ones fuelling crime in St James. With 123 persons murdered in the parish since the start of this year, Harris used last Friday's march against violence to hit out against the persons fuelling the crime.
"The time has come that we will no longer allow them to take charge of this parish and deprive us of freedom - the spirit of Sam Sharpe and the spirit of Marcus Garvey to live on in the parish of St James," said Harris, as he addressed the hundreds who converged on the historic Sam Sharpe Square last Friday.
"I know that there are some persons in high places that are fuelling the crime and violence in this parish and I'm going to make an appeal to them at this time to stop it now! Stop it now! In the name of Jesus! Stop it now!" pleaded Harris.
Later when he was asked by The Sunday Gleaner, to explain his "persons in high places" comment, Harris pointed to a recent gun find in the parish.
"Who do you think was behind the many guns found at customs recently?"
The Montego Bay mayor also turned his wrath on the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and other family members hiding the wrongdoers.
"There are those that are cultured to carry out these acts and some of us as parents, as friends know what they are doing.
"I'm sending out an appeal today that whether it's your child, whether it is your brother or your sister or your cousin or your neighbour ... we are going to seek it out at this time and let justice run its course."
Harris said his office is open to those who do not want to speak to the police. "You can speak to me in confidence, and we will take it from there," he stated.
According to Harris, St James has lost potential investment to the tune of $2 billion because of crime.
Official figures by the police show that at September 22, in addition to the 123 murders in St James - an increase of seven over the corresponding period last year - the parish also recorded 123 shootings, 108 robberies, 66 rapes and 20 cases of larceny.