Regional

Murder, rape down in Portland

BY EVERARD OWEN
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 14, 2019

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THE police are reporting a 28 per cent reduction in major crimes in Portland when compared to a similar period last year.

The figure for shootings, however, remains the same.

The information was disclosed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Beresford Williams, who was acting for Superintendent Duane Wellington, at a recent press conference in the parish.

“We are happy to report that the Portland division is enjoying a reduction of 28 per cent in crime. As of this time last year, we had recorded 80 crimes and as of the same period this year we have recorded 58,” DSP Williams said.

Eight murders have been recorded since the start of the year when compared to the 11 recorded over a similar period last year. The figure for shootings is similar to last year's five. There were six reported cases of rape last year but that figure has been reduced to two since the start of this year. Cases of aggravated assault are down to two when compared to the eight recorded over a similar period last year. Eleven robberies were recorded last year at this time; since the start of this year, five robberies have been reported.

“One of the challenges that we find is that of the eight murders recorded, approximately 50 per cent are domestic-related in nature. As a management team, we have decided that there is a need for increased interaction with citizens across the parish,” DSP Williams shared.

“We have been going out in the last two months into the varying districts right across the parish to have discussions with the citizens, alerting them of the need and how to deal with domestic dispute, as well as any other issues that they might have relating to the job. We believe those meetings have gone well and I say thanks to all the stakeholders who have participated with us and in particular the [Portland] municipal corporation,” he added.

Of the eight murders committed so far, the police have arrested six people.

“Presently, we are seeking the public's assistance in arresting one Elroy Griffiths otherwise called (o/c) “GREG”, who is a security guard and his last known address is Olivier Housing Scheme in Buff Bay for the last murder that was committed on August 20 in that same district.

“We are seeking your assistance in bringing him to books. We are also seeking the public's assistance in arresting Everton White o/c “Barby” of Cornwall Barracks district for a murder that was committed in 2015. They are the two most wanted in the parish currently,” DSP Williams said.

“We also have on our wanted list Tammo Hase o/c “Tommy” of White River, who is wanted for shooting with intent earlier this year in February and Marlon Bryce from Plymouth Hill, Port Antonio wanted for burglary and larceny; Peter Swaby from a Port Antonio address, who is wanted for robbery with aggravation,” he added.

At the same time, Williams said the Portland police are on a drive to tighten traffic management in Port Antonio.

“I say thanks to the traffic department who has led this operation and the [Portland] municipal corporation for working with us to make this drive the success it has been so far and we aim to tighten the screws as we participate in the Area Two 'Operation Restore'.

“This has several aspects, including tightening control at our borders as we work with all divisions close to us — St Thomas, St Mary and St Andrew. We will be tightening up on the anti-vending in the town. This will help to arrest our wanted persons, arrest persons involved in lotto scamming, persons involved in the drug trade and other crimes.

“We ask our motoring public as we step up these drives to bear with us, as there will be some delays from time to time but it is for your own safety and security. Last year, we arrested in this division over 100 strange men wanted for several crimes in other parishes,” the cop said.

Meanwhile, the parish has recorded seven fatal crashes so far this year, when compared to the four recorded over a similar period last year.

“That is a significant increase in terms of percentage and the drives on traffic management is aimed at reducing these numbers. We have already surpassed the five [in total] recorded last year and we have no room to play with and we hope through our action and through the drivers cooperating with us and becoming more responsible so we can hold it at the seven,” he stated.


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