Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Suspicious migrants spark neighbourhood watch revival

Published:Thursday | June 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM


FACED WITH a steady migration of young men into their home community, residents of Comfort Hall and Scarlett Hall in Trelawny have banded together to revive their neighbourhood watch association.

"The Comfort Hall/Scarlett Hall Community Development Association and Neighbourhood Watch intend to work closely with our law enforcement officers to achieve a safe and secure environment where criminals will be so scared to even look in our direction," said president Lincoln Garth.

"We have put in place a robust crime panel. As a community, we must develop a workable support mechanism for any one of our members who falls victim to crime and violence. Likewise we must always be in a position to support our members in the case where they have to testify in court."

The neighbourhood watch was relaunched with the help of the Trelawny Police Community Safety and Security Branch, at the Comfort Hall Church of God on Sunday. It is among 25 active groups among the 30 registered associated across the parish.

The Trelawny police have pointed to a steady increase of men suspected to be lottery scam players living in the parish. The men are believed to migrate from St James, which is considered as the nerve centre of the illicit activities.

The 'migratory residents' are prevalent in the communities of Wakefield, Comfort Hall, Scarlett Hall, Salt Marsh, and Florence Hall.

"The Proactive and Street Crime Unit is concentrating on the suspected scammers. Moreover, we have a mandate from the Commissioner of Police (Owen Ellington) to revive dormant neighbourhood and establish new watches," a policeman told The Gleaner.

Garth maintained that his group is opposed to vigilante justice and called on his residents to play their role in the security of the community.

Guest speaker and director of Crime Prevention and Community Safety in the Ministry of National Security, Courtney Brown, stressed that safe communities require a societal approach.