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Efforts underway to stem spike in domestic violence in Manchester

Wednesday, May 14, 2014    

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester —Chairman of the Manchester Dispute Resolution and Violence Prevention Association Pastor Michael Harvey has made a call for more volunteers as the organisation focuses on communities which are emerging as 'hot spots' for incidents of domestic violence.

According to Harvey, forming more partnerships with a wide cross section of citizens to deal with the "maladaptive" practices resulting in disputes and sometimes death is a key to achieving success.

"We can't be everywhere at the same time; however, what we continue to do is to call on our citizens to partner with us...," he told a press conference at the Mandeville Police Station on Monday.

Some communities in the Newport Police Division, Porus, Williamsfield and Cottage in the Mile Gully area were revealed to be areas that are now of concern.

"We are now spreading ourselves to go to some of these other areas (that) prior to now were not considered to be hot spots," said Harvey.

The association began in 2012 to address the higher than average reports of domestic violence, which was increasing the crime figures in the parish.

At the time communities such as Georges Valley, Albion, Greenvale and Grey Ground were areas of focus and the police believe the various interventions have resulted in some success.

"Last year we had a tremendous success around this. We had over 2,000-odd (reports) to the police. We referred 80 to the association which were quite appropriately and professionally dealt with," said Superintendent of the Manchester Police Division Marlon Nesbeth.

Training of first responders, parenting seminars, assistance with farming and counselling sessions were some of the strategies used.

With 13 murders recorded so far this year and 10 believed to be the result of domestic violence, the Manchester police are working to place greater focus on the new areas where the problems are now arising.

"....Of all the work that has been done, I expected that we wouldn't have even one of these situations for this year," said Nesbeth.

Three of the gruesome murders the parish has had to contend with are Nadine Carridice, her sons Rushane Ellis,11, and 16-year-old Jeovanni Thomas who were killed in Ramble on April 29.

Mark Henry, 46, of Spring Grove whom the mother allegedly had a relationship with is charged for the triple murder.

On May 4, Junior Simpson of Lamb Town in the parish was also attacked and hacked to death with a hoe.

Simpson's death is among the nine cases where charges have already been made in relation to the murders recorded in the parish since the start of the year.

The police believe the perpetrator may be of unsound mind.

Deputy Superintendent of Police in charge of the Community Safety and Security Branch in Manchester Marlene Bailey said the plan of action from the police going forward will include re-activating dormant police youth clubs and citizens' groups as well as establishing new ones. They will also be hosting sessions with the troubled youth in the schools, at least once per week, and workshops and seminars, especially in the problem communities.

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