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Calm returns to 33 Lane

Thursday, July 10, 2014    

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LESS than three months after a flare-up of gun violence between infighting members of the Congress Family Gang in 33 Lane, which runs off Waltham Park Road in Kingston, the community is showing signs of normalcy.

When the Jamaica Observer visited the community yesterday, residents were seen moving about freely and businesses were open.

Weeks ago the community was under siege after gunmen staged a brazen attack on 49-year-old businesswoman and area leader Doreen Brown, also called 'Mumma'.

Brown, was standing with another woman on the steps of her business place on the morning of April 24, when a white car drove up and the occupants started shooting. She was killed on the spot while the other woman was injured and taken to hospital.

In the hours following Brown's killing many residents were forced to flee their homes as gunmen wreaked havoc and began capturing premises.

But due to quick action by the St Andrew South Police, who had occupied one of the houses that was abandoned and established a police post, the criminal elements were forced to flee.

For the residents the presence of the police is a welcome sight as they can now go about their business without fear of being harmed by heartless thugs.

"Di bwoy dem have to take away themself now that the police dem deh ya. Me no want the police to go nowhere, I wish them would stay all mi life. Before dem come me did fraid you see. You think people could walk so free?" one woman said.

It seemed the cops who occupied the post had little to do, but they were well aware that their presence was the only reason why bloodletting had ceased in the volatile community.

"We have not had any major problems since the police post has been set up. We have made a few arrests and the gunmen have had to leave," one cop said.

In April the community resembled a ghost town but yesterday the area teemed with life.

Two teenage girls were seen in friendly conversation as they walked hand in hand past the police post and inside one yard a teen mother was seen breastfeeding her baby.

"A so me want the community fi stay," the woman said.

The Police have vowed to continue to conduct proximity and community policing, mostly on foot, interacting with residents and organising sporting and other social activities.

— Sasha-Gay Mullings-Hyatt

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