Break the silence on crime, Ellington tells East Kgn residents
POLICE Commissioner Owen Ellington has urged residents of troubled East Kingston to summon the courage to break their silence on criminal activities taking place in their communities.
"Do not tolerate crime any longer, break your silence about criminality even if it involves your own; it's about crime in the end and let us get rid of the gangs in the community, let us give the community a chance to settle down and prosper and let us give ourselves a chance," Ellington told a large group of residents Sunday during a peace march in the community.
"We are on a campaign for change and this campaign is long overdue" he added. "We have been fighting these criminals for a little while and we might have to fight them for some time to come, but unless there is change in the community at the level of good people who will summon the courage to break their silence, to become intolerant to criminals, gangs, gangsters and those benefiting from crime, we are not going to win the fight against crime."
The initiative, dubbed 'Steps of Hope, Unite For Change', involved the participation of several senior lawmen, political representatives and different church organisations who engaged the residents in prayers and songs.
The peace march was organised by the Area Four Police Division in response to the recent flare-up of violence in Mckintyre Villa — better known as 'Dunkirk' — which resulted in the death of a man and a 17-month-old child on Banana Street and the shooting and injury of a couple on Bryden Street both on Valentine's Day.
National Security Minister Peter Bunting, who also participated in the March on Sunday, called on political representatives to focus on the youth in the community and to ensure that they are not led astray and into criminality.
"As politicians, we all now need to be more concerned with the next generation rather than with the next general election," he said.
"I don't want to have to come into any other community and have to see the pain of a father who has his infant child murdered in his arm. That is unreasonable, that is savage, that is uncivilised and that is not the Jamaica we want to live in as a people," he emphasised as he lauded the church for its involvement.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for East Kingston, Phillip Paulwell, also encouraged the residents to treat each other with respect and take a stand against crime.
"We have to say to the gunmen enough is enough; we have to say to those who buy the guns, the bullets, to stop it, let us buy some block-making machines, let us buy some sewing machines and put way the guns and the ammunition," he said.