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Sinclair renews call for state of emergency... as murders rock MoBay

Published:Sunday | August 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Police remove the bodies of the two men shot on Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay, St James, because of a downpour of rain and the absence of the funeral contractors.


Government Senator Charles Sinclair is rejecting claims by the Police High Command that the west is safer and more secure since the joint police-military activities were implemented across St James.

Instead, the senator, who is also councillor for the Flankers division, has renewed calls for a state of emergency; the expansion and upgrading of CCTV in the tourism capital Montego Bay; and stronger private-public sector partnership aimed at cauterising the spike in murders in western Jamaica.

Sinclair's calls came hours after two more men, Durahno Bartley of Rose Heights and Bobby Solomon of Norwood, were killed along Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay yesterday afternoon. Both deaths follow the murder of a female Barbadian visitor in Negril and the killings of two men in Green Island and Rose Heights, respectively, last Saturday night.

"Maybe they (the police) meant that the guns and the persons firing them took a two-week break because MoBay remains the same," he told The Gleaner at the scene of the Gloucester Avenue double murder.

The two men, seated in a Mark X motor car, were shot by gunmen who opened fire on them at approximately 1:30 p.m. in the view of several persons swimming at the nearby 'One Man Beach'.

Reports are that the gunmen fired more than 20 shots during the attack.

Last week, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, director of the Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was quoted in a Jamaica Information Service release stating that the west was much safer.




However, despite Lindsay's assurances, several shootings were taking place in the region.

Last Tuesday morning, a car was riddled with gunshots in the popular Bogue Village. The following morning, a man driving a Mark X was chased and shot to death in the same area. He was reportedly shot 28 times.

"It must never seem as if the state has relinquished its authority to the people," said Sinclair, arguing why curfews would not do the job a state of emergency can.

"A curfew has its limitations. [It] can only operate for 48 hours and does not allow a police officer to enter premises without a warrant," said the senator, adding that the violence producer is not keeping his/her gun at home.

He is of the opinion that the reason persons fear states of emergency is because of the atrocities of 1976 and the 2010 operation in Tivoli Gardens, west Kingston.

"The 1976 was for political reasons, and Tivoli was abuse, so people are scared."

Sinclair said his concerns have remained since he previously called for a state of emergency in June, winning himself many detractors as well as several admirers.

"Nobody is in charge. When you live in a state, somebody must be in charge," he said.