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'Dons are better at policing thedowntown district'

Published:Friday | September 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Sheldon Williams, Staff Reporter

DONS ARE better at policing the downtown business district and solving crimes faster than the police, according to shopkeeper Michael Spence, whose letter to the editor, 'Dons can teach cops to rundown', earned him The Gleaner silver pen for the month of April.

"I operate a business in St Ann, but I'm always in Kingston doing my rounds on foot myself for several years, and you see the situation," he said. And you ask yourself the question, what was the don doing to keep the order? People don't get robbed," he said.

Spence said he also observed how vigilant 'foot soldiers' of the don were and lauded their attention to detail. "They knew everything that happened on the street. I heard one of them say to the next one, 'Watch dah boy deh yuh nuh.' And another one said, 'Mi see him long time.' They had an eye," Spence asserted.

In his letter, he asserted that "the police should understudy the techniques used by the senior (criminal executive officers) CEOs/dons and how they organise security downtown".

"The dons provided home-grown, on-the-ground security - I mean 24 hours. It was tantamount to community policing. The dons had information available on all the criminal actors and their families in their jurisdiction."

He added: "The police force's weakness downtown is that by 5 or 6 p.m., all or most police on, say, Princess Street, are nowhere to be found, so one could organise a break-in between Saturday evening and Monday morning with great efficiency."

He further added, "The police do not do that. The police walk around in groups and you ask what's the purpose? Crime is out of hand downtown, even criminals are getting robbed."

He suggested that the inefficiencies of the Jamaica Constabulary Force can be remedied if cops get consultancy from dons.