Major crime hot spot left out of August Town ZOSO boundaries

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Major crime hot spot left out of August Town ZOSO boundaries

Thursday, July 09, 2020

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A major crime hot spot in Greater August Town, Payton Place, has seemingly not been included in the area declared a zone of special operations (ZOSO) by Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday.

Just over a month ago two brothers — 36-year-old Demar Francis and 25-year-old Robert Clarke — were fatally shot at a house in Payton Place as part of gang conflicts taking place in August Town.

Payton Place is said to be a route for gangsters from the section of August Town known as “Gola” to make their escape from members of the security forces who are hot on their trail.

But in outlining the boundaries of the area declared a ZOSO yesterday, chief of defence staff at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, said it started at the intersection of Goldsmith Villa Road and Princess Alice Way, which is metres away from Payton Place.

The Jamaica Observer news team also visited Payton Place, where no security checkpoints or patrols were seen.

Meade had used a media briefing hosted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday to announce that the area declared a ZOSO spanned the intersection of Goldsmith Villa Road and Princess Alice Way to the Goldsmith Villa Seventh-day Adventist Church and then south-easterly for approximately 190 metres.

The JDF boss added that the ZOSO then continues in a northerly direction running along the eastern boundary of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Waste water Treatment Plant to its intersection with Mona Road and Hermitage Road.

The other boundaries are:

• To the north, continuing from the intersection of Mona Road and Hermitage Road, the boundary runs in an easterly direction along Hermitage Road to its intersection with University Road and then continues in an easterly direction to its intersection with the Hope River.

• To the east, continuing from the point along the Hope River, the boundary extends in a south-easterly direction along the Hope River to its intersection with River Bottom Road in the vicinity of Bedward Gardens.

• It then continues in a south-westerly direction for approximately 180 metres, then south-easterly on to June Road to its intersection with July Road and then in a south-easterly direction along July Road to its intersection with Bedward Crescent and around the Crescent to the intersection with August Town Road.

• Finally to the south, from the intersection of Bedward Crescent and August Town Road, the boundary extends south-westerly along August Town Road for approximately 280 metres and then westerly for approximately 1.7 kilometres along the foot of the Long Mountain range to the start point at the intersection of Goldsmith Villa Road and Princess Alice Way.

August Town is the island's fourth ZOSO. The others are in Denham Town in West Kingston; Mount Salem, St James; and Greenwich Town, St Andrew, which was declared last week.

Under The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, an area can be declared a ZOSO once there is rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder, and a threat to the rule of law.

— BY ARTHUR HALL


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