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Serious crimes decline in St Ann, robberies up

Published:Saturday | July 13, 2019 | 12:13 AM


Commandant for the St Ann Police Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Small, has reported that serious crimes in the parish have shown a slight decrease this year compared to the same period last year.

Presenting his report at the St Ann Municipal Corporation’s monthly meeting on Thursday, Small said that serious crimes up to July this year stood at 150, compared to 164 last year.

However, murders have remained constant at 22, while shootings are down by one.

Small expressed the hope that the murder figure for the year will fall below the 48 recorded last year, the majority of which were committed in the second half of the year.

Mayor of St Ann’s Bay Michael Belnavis led a moment of silence in honour of the municipal employee who was shot during a robbery at the Ocho Rios bus park last week and later died.

sharp increase

Robberies, in the meantime, have seen a sharp increase of 36 per cent, jumping from 33 last year to 45 this year, leading Small to say that this was an area that the police needed to look at.

He said that the recent robberies of two cambios, one in Alexandria and the other in Discovery Bay, appeared to have been committed by the same two persons.

One of the issues he faces, he admitted, is the insufficiency of officers to patrol the parish. He pointed out that this is to be addressed.

The senior superintendent said he would be looking at public order where markets and bus parks are concerned, adding that his team is to focus on traffic issues in the major townships of Brown’s Town, St Ann’s Bay, and Ocho Rios.

Meanwhile, councillor for the Beecher Town division, Ian Bell, in addressing Small, begged for a zone of special operations in the Parry Town, New Hope, and Beecher Town areas of the parish as they were “out of control”.

He urged Small, who was recently placed in St Ann, not to take the situation in Parry Town, which has a history of gun violence, lightly.

A community meeting with the police was agreed for July 24 on the playing field in Parry Town.