Central Kingston police intensify crime control measures
Corey Robinson, Staff Reporter
The Kingston Central Police up to late this afternoon were finalising preparations for the New Year’s Eve celebration on the waterfront in downtown Kingston.
Several police and soldiers were seen patrolling sections of Southside, one of several volatile communities in central Kingston, as the law enforcement authorities seek to contain murders in the division.
"It all boils down to what happens tonight. If tonight goes through peacefully we would have ended the year with less murders than we had last year," said Inspector Carlos Bell, head of the Gold Street Police Station.
The murder tally in central Kingston is at 38 - four fewer than the 42 for the similar period last year.
"Hopefully, noting happens that would disturb that,” said Bell, noting that Southside - for which he has been in charge for about two years - is currently tense because of long-standing rivalry between fractions.
At least two separate teams of police and soldiers, some of them on foot, were seen patrolling the community, frisking some residents.
This was part of a more robust security strategy implemented for watch night, said Bell.
"What they (thugs) will do is use the opportunity, during the fireworks and
so on, to carry out their attacks, because it’s difficult to hear the
gunshots. We are trying to clamp down on the likelihood of such
occurrences," he said.
Men from Southside have always been at war with gangsters from the neighbouring Tel Aviv and other communities in the area.
At the start of last year, the police launched numerous peace initiatives, including a weekly mediation seminar for troubled youths.
That seminar was directed by Superintendent Victor Hamilton, then head of the division, and for the most part, it and the other initiatives have been successful, Bell said.
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