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Rockfort suffering from months of murders, theft and gunfights

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, August 17, 2017

THE Rockfort Development Council is hoping that a press conference slated for tomorrow will help to shed more light on what is a dire situation in the Rockfort community, which has been rife with bouts of crime and violence due to conflicts between several factions.

According to chairman of the council and Rockfort resident, Oswald Service, the past five months has been especially daunting for the Kingston community members who have been dealing with a continuous onslaught of murders, theft and gunfights.

He noted that the problems are being caused by two sets of warring factions, the first one being between gangsters on Barnes Road and gangsters from the 'Corner One' area. The second set involves men from Oliver Road and Wareika Hills in the community who are in conflict with men from Jarrett Lane — a community in Mountain View.

It has been reported that six people have been murdered in the Rockfort community since the start of the year, while illegal guns, including high-powered firearms have been seized by the police.

However, despite an increased police presence in the community, Service lamented that this has hardly done anything to quell the crime and violence.

He mentioned that around midday yesterday, while on business out of the community, he received calls saying gunshots were being fired in the community and shortly before the telephone conversation with the Jamaica Observer, a brief period of gunfire had again occurred. Service said a little boy was shot and injured Tuesday in the ongoing violence.

“This press conference is to highlight what is really taking place in the community because I'm not sure the media is fully aware of what is taking place; you have guys up here breaking into people's houses and taking furniture and money,” Service said.

Describing the influx of men from Jarrett Lane as an invasion, he explained that some residents, himself included, have been forced to move from their homes.

“I'm affected to because they break into my house and take my appliances and furniture, so I'm no longer sleeping at my home; my neighbours… well a lot of them have left and are sleeping elsewhere, ”Service said, while highlighting that the men broke into three other homes the same day they broke into his.

He said the residents are currently engaged in discussions to find solutions for the new school term, which is set to start in a few weeks.

“We haven't found any solutions as yet, but I know it has been affecting the community bad because a lot of small businesses such as shops have to be closing early and people not staying out late again,” the chairman said.

“People are very concerned, school going to be reopening, so how the children will manage if this thing does not stop,” he continued.

Service stated that there were talks of putting in a police post within the community but so far there has been no sign of action.

However, the chairman said he later heard there were some problems with resources but was told last week Friday that the resources have now arrived to facilitate the establishment of the post.

“But from last week Friday until now, nothing…but once the police post up, it will act as a buffer and I know the shots will stop firing, I'm not saying it will solve the problem as we need some long-term solutions, but it will help stop the fight so we can start looking for the solutions,” Service stated.

The press conference is slated to take place tomorrow at the Rockfort Development Council's headquarters on 1A Glasspole Avenue in Kingston.

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