News

Standpipe residents protest curfews

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, October 06, 2012    

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RESIDENTS of Standpipe in Kingston staged a peaceful protest yesterday to voice their concerns about the number of curfews imposed on their community by the police over the past week.

The protestors, who numbered about 30, gathered across from the United States Embassy demanding that the police hierarchy visit their community to hear their concerns. The protest went on under the watchful eyes of a police team.

"For more than a week now the police impose curfews in our community, but it a lock down wi business and nuh crime nah take place in di area," said one woman, who was holding a placard.

Others in the group shared similar concerns.

Yesterday, Senior Superintendent Derrick Knight, who is in charge of the St Andrew Central Police Division, explained that the increased police presence came as a result of intelligence that criminals were planning to carry out a series of reprisal attacks in the community.

"Police received intelligence that criminals were planning to carry out attacks on members in the area to mark the anniversary of a gang member who was killed last year and this was one of the reasons for the police presence in the area," Knight disclosed at a meeting which was convened later with the residents.

He blamed the anxiety among the residents on poor communication between the two groups.

"This is an issue that clearly resulted from a breakdown of communication between residents and police in the area," Knight told the residents.

Yesterday, residents also accused the police of unprofessional conduct.

Knight encouraged them lodge complaints where they felt their rights had been breached.

Meanwhile, Andre Hylton, member of Parliament for St Andrew Eastern in which the community is located, told the meeting that steps would be taken to form a committee among business operators in the community to work closer with the police.

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