Councillor wants urgent action to tame crime in Kingston CentralSaturday, May 15, 2021
BY JASON CROSS
RAE Town, Kingston Central, Councillor Rosalie Hamilton has called for stronger police action in the constituency in light of the increased gang violence in that section of the city.
In fact, Hamilton, who last year attempted to bring gangsters together to put away violence, wants the head of the Kingston Central Police Division to be replaced.
“This war has been going on from September 3, 2020 — Election Day — and the police are well aware of everything. If you are given a task and you are not showing any form of achievement in your task, it is time for them to change you. You cannot have an individual in charge of a police division and crime is escalating the way it is. The only alternative is to change the person,” said Hamilton.
According to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor, gun and gang violence continue to rock her division, particularly in Southside and Tel Aviv, as well as some sections of Spoilers, a part of the Allman Town Division, represented by People's National Party (PNP) Councillor Charmaine Daniels.
Men living overseas, claimed Hamilton, were funding some of the individuals involved in the ongoing violence.“[It] is full time for the war to [be] done. The persons who are involved know themselves. They are killing people and they are killing innocent people. They need to stop!” Hamilton appealed.
Aiming to fix the problem and to secure the confidence of citizens in the main areas affected, the Kingston Central police staged a walk-through initiative on Gold Street on Wednesday evening. They invited Hamilton, but according to her, she did not attend as she had to be present in an important meeting on Zoom.
Seemingly attempting to downplay the major reasons for Wednesday's walk-through Superintendent Maldria Jones-Williams told the Jamaica Observer that police regularly walk through the communities and and that it was nothing new. The residents, she said, usually express joy when they come around.
Last year June, Hamilton told journalists that she had staged a meeting with warring factions from Spoilers, Tel Aviv, Southside and Franklyn Town to broker a truce and did not invite the police.
She said she was pushed to set up the meeting last year when she saw how much the youths were killing each other, adding that she did a lot of networking to find out what was causing the constant friction. She then set up the meeting and did not invite the police because of the type of men who were there. She feared that the presence of the police would have diminished the trust the men had in the peace-building process. Hamilton claimed that after the meeting, enemies began embracing each other, quelling friction to an extent.
However, some Kingston Central constituents on Wednesday chided Hamilton for last year's meeting and encouraged politicians to stop playing into the hands of gangsters.
“When you tek up yourself and deh 'mongst the shotta dem and a call di shots and gwaan like you are powerful and can roar like a lion, and gwaan like you can control dem, after a while you cannot chat to dem, and that is what is happening to some people right now,” one resident said.
Charmaine Daniels, PNP councillor for the Allman Town Division, which lies in Kingston Central, denounced criminal activities in “every shape and form”.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login