Regional

Weeping policeman

St Ann residents say cop cries after failing to foil robbery due to station's lack of vehicle

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Observer staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 11, 2017



A policeman was left in tears after failing to thwart a series of robberies that occurred in Claremont, St Ann, over the past three weeks.

The cop was left incapacitated at the Claremont Police Station, where there is no service vehicle.

Residents of both Golden Grove and Claremont, districts which fall under the police station's remit, shared similar stories that police officers at the station could not respond to calls because the assigned vehicle has been out of service since August.

They also told the Jamaica Observer North & East that the station at Claremont shares a vehicle with the police in Moneague.

Checks made by Observer North & East revealed that the Claremont station is responsible for serving, protecting and reassuring the 44 districts.

“Yuh can see seh di man passionate 'bout him work. A idiot thing dem a keep up a town. Dem thief mi brethren car and it never make nuh sense him report it 'cause there is nothing dem can do. Dem cyah even patrol the place,” Harden Grandison, of Golden Grove, told Observer North & East during a visit to his community last Tuesday.

A man who was eavesdropping on the conversation confirmed what Grandison had said, adding that the policeman cried after watching men who had just finished robbing a farm drive away with the animals.

“A right dung deh mi stand up when the man dem a pass inna di truck with dem. [Him] a cry 'cause nuh vehicle nuh di deh fi run dem dung. Sometimes you see dem over deh, a dem personal vehicle dem a use fi do government work,” the man shared.

By this time, a woman standing by hurriedly walked away, noting that she did not want to be a part of the conversation, while another confirmed that both men's stories were in fact true.

“Go up a station go ask dem. All prisoner dem a carry inna dem personal vehicle. All when di man dem sick pon dem up deh, no vehicle. A fi dem car dem a use carry dem go doctor. Dat nuh right, and yuh think dem can seh nothing 'bout it? Dem will transfer dem go a bush weh dem naah see nothing but bush and birds. This is not justice. How yuh fi have a station and no vehicle? Man a rob just a galang suh cause dem know seh car nuh deh ya fi run dem dung. Mr Quallo, this is shame and disgrace seh Jamaica police force nuh have nuh vehicle,” the woman added.

Observer North & East visited the Claremont Police Station to corroborate the reports from residents, but the officer in charge, who reluctantly gave his name only as Sergeant Allen, said that he was “extremely” busy and could not do any interviews.

“I am very busy right now. As yuh can see, today is a court day and di place very busy,” Sergeant Allen said, before walking off.

Pressed about the residents' claims of no vehicle, the series of robberies and the weeping policeman, Allen confirmed that there has been a series of armed robberies, two of which occurred the week of November 26.

Allen also confirmed that the service vehicle assigned to the station was, in fact, out of use, before attending to men charged with various offences.

A woman who had come to secure bail for her son, in a hushed tone, said police were not responding to the different communities whenever they called.

“If yuh can't come just seh yuh can't come nuh or tell yuh boss no vehicle is here, instead of him letting out frustration 'pon you,” she said, as a policeman, who was clearly oblivious to the conversation, passed by nodding his head and smiling.

There have been fewer than five murders across the 44 districts, the police's Corporate Communications Unit confirmed, but larceny has been frequent.

It was revealed in late November that the private company contracted to supply 200 pre-owned motor vehicles to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) had failed to deliver all the vehicles on time, causing embarrassment to the Government.

The company — O'Brien's International Car Sales Rentals Limited — was in January this year awarded a $426.9-million contract to supply the 200 pre-owned motor vehicles for the constabulary.

However, only 30 of the vehicles were delivered in June after the 90-day delivery period had expired, Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee was told then.

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