Thursday, January 18, 2018

Head of operations for the Old Harbour Police Division Insp. Carey Duncan says the recent flare-up of shootings in the Burke Road area which saw three people being killed is now under control.

The crime fighter told Old Harbour News in a recent interview that the arrest of suspected gang leader Hugh Robinson popularly called ‘Bobby Lexus’ was also important among several initiatives it implemented in the last few weeks to curtail the bloodletting which has seen a numbers of persons being shot and injured.

Robinson, who also goes by the name ‘Calvin Cameron’ the police says, is involved in a longstanding feud with rival and also suspected gang leader John Roofe Jnr alias ‘Roofy 2’.

Inspector Duncan says with assistance from the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation (C-TOC) unit its strategies are bearing the desired results, having also implemented a 24-hour police patrol in the Burke Road space.

He told Old Harbour News that there has been a noticeably lull in shootings as since the police stepped up its stop and search and public order initiatives.

And despite the recent shooting deaths, the inspector noted that murders committed in the division this year so far stands at 14, which is one less than the 2015 corresponding period.

Click audio to listen to interview.

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Interim president of the Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce (OHCC) Adrian Samuda says the body will be robust in its efforts to have closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the town.

Samuda’s comments came following a meeting with members of the chamber and the St Catherine South Police high command at Kaluga Kafe on Tuesday.

The entrepreneur said the business community is very concerned after the recent killing of a vendor in the town centre during rush hour, which is the second such homicide in just over a year within the same proximity.

“We the business people of Old Harbour are willing to assist with the purchasing of the cameras because we believe in supporting any initiative that will protect or benefit our business and the lives of the citizens of this town.

“Having listened to the police we will now be writing to the St Catherine Parish Council and the National Works Agency with a view to see how best we can expedite the installation of these cameras which is of absolute necessity given the brazen killing in the town recently,” Samuda told Old Harbour News.

This is not the first time the issue of installing CCTV cameras in the town is being raised by the OHCC. Two years ago the matter was discussed with Supt. Carl Ferguson, then commander in charge of the Old Harbour Police Division and members of the business community.

Head of the St Catherine South Division, Senior Superintendent (SSP) Noel Christie, said he’s aware that the matter was raised then but indicated that achieving this goal requires full participation of key stakeholders namely the parish council and the National Works Agency (NWA).

He’s however urging the chamber to be resolute in their approach regarding installment of the cameras, which he believes is crucial in aiding the police.

“I know when Mr. Ferguson was here he’d gone as far as doing a site inspection as to where the cameras could be positioned. But as to the latest on that I can’t give you. I can’t say why it hasn’t been tied up as yet. They (Old Harbour Chamber of Commerce) would have to be very forceful, aggressive and assertive by going to the (St Catherine) Parish Council and the NWA who will play a vital role in it,” SSP Christie said.

CCTV cameras are said to be a very important tool used in many towns and cities all over the world in the fight against crime. They act as a deterrent and are often utilized to identify perpetrators.

Meantime, Samuda is urging the police to be more assertive as he’s of the view that the town feels less safe since the departure of Superintendent David White, who now heads the Westmoreland Police Division.

“As a business person I don’t get the feeling like I could walk to the bank with a million dollars,” said Samuda. “When Mr. White was here you felt like you could walk in the town with any amount of money at any time.”

White’s militant approach to policing drew commendation as well as condemnation from the general public, as he made a successful push restoring public order in the town space, ridding the streets of illegal vending and mitigating traffic congestion.

But according to Inspector Carey Duncan, head of operations for the Old Harbour Police Division, Samuda’s perception isn’t supported by the current statistics related to serious crimes being committed in the division.

Based on data presented at the meeting by Duncan major crimes, which include murder, shooting, robbery, break-in, aggravated assault, rape and larceny, has seen a 46 per cent decline in the division up to this time of the year when compared to the corresponding period of 2015.

Duncan reported that a combined total of 35 major crimes have been committed so far this year, a massive drop when compared with the 65 recorded the same time last year. Of the serious crimes recorded up to the end of May this year seven were murders, four involved shooting, 14 robberies were logged, six break-ins took place, and there were two incidents each for rape and larceny. The corresponding numbers for the same period last year showed nine murders, six shootings, 19 robberies, 23 break-ins, two aggravated assaults, four incidents of rape and two cases of larceny.

Earlier this week the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reported a 10 per cent decline in major crimes committed nationally between January and June 4 with the corporate area and St Catherine showing the biggest reduction.

“When Mr. White left the division I knew that he’d left a big shoe to fill,” said Duncan. “As you are already aware we have a resource issue. For the most part the vendors have been conforming by selling inside the market, which has allowed us to shift some of the resources to other areas, which I believe has contributed to the reduction in the numbers we are seeing now.”

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Friday, 28 August 2015 21:02

45 arrests executed under warrant drive

Forty-five persons residing in the Old Harbour area have been arrested and charged since the police shift into gear a warrant drive.

Officer in charge of operations for the Old Harbour Police Division, Inspector Carey Duncan is urging residents to visit the police station so they can be taken to court on the same day.

“When they are arrested on a warrant they can’t be given bail,” explained the police inspector. “They have to be taken to court at the earliest possible time.

“So we are saying if they take the initiative and come in, then we can make the arrangement for them to go to court on the day the warrant was executed. However, if we have to go for them and for instance we go for them on a Friday, then the earliest court day would be on a Monday, so they would have to stay in custody and then go to court on the following Monday.”

Some of these warrants include outstanding traffic tickets, child maintenance, electricity theft, unpaid property taxes, breaches under the Solid Waste Management Act, among a host of other charges.

Arrest warrants are ordered by a judge whenever an accused person repeatedly fails, without valid reason, to attend a court hearing.


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