Downtown is safe – copsFriday, September 17, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The police are assuring residents, vendors, shoppers, and visitors to downtown Kingston that they are safe.
There have been a series of murders and shootings in the shopping district in recent times, culminating with the death of five individuals last week. The incidents have caused many people to avoid the area and forced vendors and shoppers to call for more cops to be deployed there.
But head of the Kingston Western Police Division, Senior Superintendent Michael Phipps, said that police and soldiers have saturated the shopping district and are vigilantly patrolling the area in an effort to protect shoppers, vendors and residents.
“It's very safe to go to Coronation Market and other sections of downtown Kingston,” SSP Phipps told Observer Online. “People are going about their businesses and many people have said they have never seen so many security force members in the shopping district.”
He said the murders and shootings are being perpetrated by opposing gang members who know each other and are targeting each other, and are not necessarily going after vendors and shoppers.
Last week Friday, five people died in three separate shootings hours apart in the shopping district. The incidents began with the killing of two men, who were sprayed with bullets on Darling Street. Shortly after another man was shot dead on Charles Street near Matthews Lane. Not long afterward, another man was attacked and killed on Orange Street. The final incident took place on King Street, not far away.