Trelawny police reassure residents amid safety concerns
TRELAWNY, Jamaica – Commander of the Trelawny Police Division, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Winston Milton has sought to reassure residents that despite six murders in the parish this month, including last week’s quadruple murder in Duanvale, the police continue to work assiduously to maintain safety.
Speaking at the Heritage Week church service at the Stettin New Testament Church of God on Sunday, president of the Trelawny Justices of the Peace Association, businessman Kenneth Grant expressed concern over the bloodletting.
“…Just a couple nights ago we had a quadruple murder in the Clark’s Town [police] area. And I don’t know about anybody else but I know I am concerned. I am concerned about the safety and security of the people of Trelawny,” Grant expressed.
But in a move to quell Grant’s concerns, DSP Milton noted that Trelawny still remains one of the safest parishes in the country.
“I just want to use this opportunity to reassure the citizenry of Trelawny that Trelawny is still a very, very safe space for you to live, work and raise your family. And we are committed to ensuring that this remains,” DSP Milton said.
In fact, DSP Milton noted that despite the recent spike in killings, the parish has enjoyed a reduction in murders since the start of the year. Some 19 murders have been recorded in Trelawny since the start of 2023, 10 less than the 29 reported over the same period last year.
“I must say though we are double digit behind where we were last year at this juncture as it relates to murders being committed in the parish. We are committed to continuously suppress this category of violent crime for the rest of the year and going into the next calendar year,” DSP Milton said.
Grant also called on Commissioner of Police Antony Anderson to provide the Trelawny Police with additional human resources.
“… I call on the appropriate authority to ensure that this parish receives the required amount of men and women in the security force that is needed to secure the people of Trelawny. I am calling on the Commissioner of Police to ensure that we have enough resources to keep us all safe,” Grant appealed.
DSP Milton, however, noted that even as the number of cops assigned to the parish might not be ideal, the police are reaping success with what they have.
“I must say this, I don’t know any manager that is given the ideal number of resources to work with. What we have, we have been using and we have been achieving the objective with that,” DSP Milton said.
For instance, he explained that since the start of the year the police have seized a number of illegal firearms, which have been the weapon of choice in the murders committed across the parish.
He also outlined that, after recognising that gangs were responsible for most of the murders in the parish last year, the police have successfully suppressed gang activities in the parish.
“Last year at this time we recognised that gangs were the main attributing factor to murders in the parish. We have moved aggressively at gangs in the space and those that seek refuge from elsewhere into the space and we have seen a significant reduction in gang related murders in the parish,” DSP Milton said.
“So the leading contributor now is interpersonal [conflicts]. We are working with stakeholders because we can’t be in every household and every community and every bar where people have a difference and they resolve it through violence. So we are working with stakeholders to see how we can suppress the frequency of interpersonal violence. That is the main contribution of violence in our space,” he said.