Hanover residents speak on crime in aftermath of Logwood murders
It seemed business as usual in the Green Island town on Saturday, the typical shopping day, with people going about their commercial activities when The Gleaner visited the town.
Unlike years gone by when tragedy struck, there were no open discussions and no signs of persons openly commenting on the incident which took place in Logwood, one of the town's most populous feeder communities, where six members of a family were shot and killed just over 24 hours before.
But one exasperated resident of Logwood, who was conducting business in the town and who requested anonymity, took time to vent. She told The Gleaner that she was peeved that the authorities had waited until things got out of hand before turning their attention to the community.
"Dem mus maintain dem presence in deh. Yu caan come when yu hear one killing an yu pop in today and den yu come out back and den one next time you hear sittn happen, yu come in back again," she said.
"Dem fi tek out some people dung yah (Logwood) weh no have no affiliation. Wha dem deh do dung yah more dan add to di stress inna di likkle community?
"Di whole area come in like a refugee camp! You see some people and you jus know say dem no belong down here. You a walk an' see dem, an' you haffi a say 'eheh, me live a dis yah place how long an all of a sudden you jus see dis one group a man'; dem no have no family dung yah. You a try fi trace dem roots fi see if dem have a cousin or auntie or so - not a ting," she added.
She also recommended continuous curfews and patrols stretching from roadways leading from Salt Spring, Cave Valley, Orange Bay in Hanover, and entry points from Sheffield and Moreland Hill in Westmoreland.
"These things happen mostly past 7 o'clock - because that's when the other one (double-murder) did happen di odda day. Logwood is a community weh, when certain time, people used to deh pon road because is a community weh no sleep like dat. Now di place basically is a ghost town. People used to sleep wid dem door open and even go out (at night) go play Moonshine Baby. Dem need fi bring in di JDF (Jamaica Defence Force) because a nuh ask me a ask, mi know say people dung deh weh no belong dung deh," she said.
"Come on man, we can get dis ting under control. If a dat ting (scamming) a cause di problem, how tings get out a hand so much? And if dem (JCF) have all a dat information, why dem no do something bout it?" she added.
DISCONNECT WITH POLICE
Ras Dawit of the Rastafari Sankofa Eco Warriors said community policing and the building of relationships between police officers and residents would go a far way in curtailing murders, but suggested that this was largely non-existent in the parish.
"There is a disconnect with the police and people. They can't count on the police to be their security. There needs to be that programme where they make contact with the citizens more. They can come and call meetings with community people - show their presence in the community," Dawit said.
"Crime is like a disease and it's killing out the people. It will take rallies, community activism, and police working with even Rastas. Use the community centres as platforms where the police and communities work hand in hand. It sounds like snitching, like an informer business, but if you don't have a gun, you are going to have to get a man with a gun (police) to protect you from the man with a gun (criminal)," he said.