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Custos wants residents to reclaim St James from criminals

Published:Thursday | October 21, 2021 | 12:08 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Bishop Conrad Pitkin, custos of St James.
Bishop Conrad Pitkin, custos of St James.


As St James continues to bleed at the hands of criminals, the parish’s custos, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, is urging law-abiding citizens to unite in a bid to take back their communities with a view of creating the peace and tranquillity they desire.

Despite having two zones of special operations and several police formations dedicated to target gangsters, St James has recorded 124 murders since the start of the year, which represents a 34.8 per cent increase on the 92 recorded in the corresponding period last year.

Pitkin noted that in recent weeks, the parish has seen a horrifying upsurge in violent murders, including a double killing in the community of Granville and a daring daylight shooting in downtown Montego Bay, which resulted in the deaths of three men and injuries to seven other persons.

“No longer should we sit by and allow our communities to be overrun by those who have lost direction and are wasting their lives,” said Pitkin, who was speaking at a recent function to launch the St James Police Benevolent Foundation.

“I believe that it is time we the citizens of St James take back our beautiful parish from the clutches of criminal elements. We must do this community by community,” added Pitkin.

Pitkin, while noting that it was the Government’s responsibility to formulate policies to fight crime and other social issues, said the situation in St James should not be seen as a government problem.

“It’s a problem that all of us must face resolutely. We must do this for our children, we owe it to them, and we owe it to ourselves,” said Pitkin, while acknowledging that no amount of social intervention without addressing family life or character development is going to help.