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‘Clarendon needs a state of emergency’

Published:Tuesday | July 16, 2019 | 12:20 AM

The hot topic of crime took centre stage at last Thursday’s sitting of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation.

The exchange got heated at times as councillors suggested solutions that they believed could put a dent in the bloodletting in the parish.

Scean Barnswell, councillor for the Hayes division, said that the types of murders happening in the parish needed special attention. It was in that light that he questioned the state of emergency activated in South St Andrew as opposed to Clarendon.

“What are the strategies the Government is employing to curb crime within the parish of Clarendon? We cannot just sit back and say, ‘Oh, we have a new SSP.’ Will that solve the problem?” Barnswell said, referring to the newly installed commander for Clarendon, SSP Glenford Miller.

Barnswell said that Clarendon needs more than a change of commanders, noting that it would take having more “boots on the ground” and cordoning off some areas. He noted that the parish urgently needs a state of public emergency.

Delroy Dawson, councillor for the Aenon Town division, said that although Clarendon has 33 per cent fewer murders than South St Andrew, the focus should not be on the murder statistics, but the types of murders and robberies taking place, pointing out that two murders took place less than 30 metres from the police station.

Dawson said that a collective effort is needed to fight crime in the parish as people are just not safe.