Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Letter of the Day | Police presence needed across Portmore

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2023 | 12:23 AM


Increased criminal activity in particular locations and environments do not always happen in isolation, they are oftentimes a symptom of a much greater problem in said location.

The recent assaults on Beryllium security personnel in Portmore are a prime example of this. Drive through Portmore on any given day and the lack of police presence on the streets is so glaring you would be hard-pressed to believe that there are multiple police stations in the general Portmore community. There is zero presence on the streets.

In fact, when they are actually seen it is either at the Portmore Mall bus stop issuing tickets to taxi operators, at the bus stop located at Mega Mart issuing tickets, and if you are lucky you will occasionally see them at the intersection of Municipal Boulevard and Braeton Parkway (ironically, right next to the Scotiabank where the heist on Sunday took place) again issuing tickets. Outside of these locations, the police presence in Portmore is virtually non-existent.

Driving on the main thoroughfares in the municipality during peak hours is an experience from hell, as drivers overtake lines of traffic, block intersections and make illegal turns at will because everyone who traverse those streets know that there is no police presence.

Reckless overtaking during the evening is a daily feature on the stretch of Braeton Parkway between the stoplight at Newland Road heading towards the Portmore Pines Plaza, and this is taking place less than two minutes away from the Greater Portmore Police Station.

The daily chaos that exists at the intersection of Port Henderson Road and Jermaine Road is happening less than a minute away from the Bridgeport Police Station.

These are daily occurrences and the absence of the police is also a daily occurrence.

I am sure that criminals have also noticed this glaring lack of law enforcement on the streets of the municipality, and as such are confident of making good their escape after carrying out their acts.

Sunday’s Beryllium incident took place literally next door to the Greater Portmore Police Station (100 Man) and the perpetrators were able to escape the scene quite easily. The first incident a few weeks ago at the Portmore Pines Plaza was less than two minutes away.

Something needs to be done about the leadership of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in Portmore. There clearly does not seem to be any and the communities of the municipality are now paying for that incompetence.

Portmore, particularly Greater Portmore, has for decades struggled with incompetence at the parish council level, with glaring infrastructure needs that should not have existed in the first place. There are no sidewalks along many of the major thoroughfares (Braeton Parkway, Municipal Boulevard, Braeton Road East Mid Street); no street lights; some of the worst roads in the country; and now, to top it off, a growing crime problem.

The infrastructure issues may never get rectified, just look at the dust bowl directly in front of the Portmore Mall – how many times have we heard grand plans for that? Who remembers the grand proclamations about the environment park? What a joke.

The security situation can, however, be addressed and that can be done first and foremost by getting officers on the streets.

No one is helped by them all sitting inside the station houses scrolling on Instagram.


Portmore resident