Mandeville, Manchester — Police chief in Manchester, Superintendent Lascelles Taylor, says approximately twelve clubs and bar operators at Caledonia Courts Plaza on Caledonia Road may have to close their doors if proper security arrangements are not implemented.
Taylor’s comment comes against the background of reports of anti-social behaviour and violence, which has led to three deaths on the plaza in less than a week.
Last Saturday Dwayne Anthony Reid, who was wanted for two murders in St Elizabeth and gun related crimes in Manchester was shot and killed by the police.
And Wednesday night, two men, Alexander Elliot and Steven Collier, were shot and killed in a sports bar allegedly after an altercation with other men.
“Based on intensive investigation carried out the police in Manchester, under my leadership, we have come to the conclusion that there is a serious problem as it relates to Caledonia Courts,” Taylor told the Observer following a meeting of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce late Thursday.
“During our investigations we have found that there are a number of security breaches. We have also found out that the Plaza is operating loose … in which you find a number of undesirables — street people, gangsters, drug addicts, that’s their meeting place,” said Taylor.
He added that a meeting had been scheduled for Friday afternoon (November 2) between the police and “operators of spirit licence premises and clubs and until we are satisfied that they put in place the necessary security arrangements then they are not going to be allowed to operate.”
Taylor had earlier told the business community that the police were working on a plan to be sent to Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington by the end of the year to explain how crime will be controlled in the parish.
He said that the input of varying stakeholders including the service clubs, citizens associations, taxi associations, school principals, security firms, Manchester Parish Council and the Social Development Commission was considered necessary to make the anti-crime plan more effective.
At the same time Taylor insisted that business operators would have to look beyond profit margin in order to effectively assist with the process.
“Some of the times as business people, it is greed (why crimes are not reported). In Manchester you have a certain set of persons; they are going to remain nameless. Those persons are very disruptive but they have the money spending. They have the money because they come by the money easily,” he declared.
“What you find is that a number of entertainment centres including the clubs or the spirit licence premises encourage them to come there. Even if they are being disruptive nobody will call in the police because of fear that they will not come there and they won’t spend any money there. Even when they take out their guns and they commit crimes in the presence of these business people everybody blind like blind Bartimaeus,” Taylor said.
“Don’t be selfish and watch the money. If you realise that a man is undesirable, no matter how much money him a spend a yuh business place don’t accommodate him, don’t encourage him,” he emphasised.