MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Member of Parliament for Manchester North Western Mikael Phillips is calling for strong security measures, including a lockdown of Greenvale and its environs, following at least six murders over 11 weeks, the latest being an alleged reprisal here.
"Right now I would take a lockdown of the community, because it seems to be out of hand. With a lot of effort to bring peace into the community where Top and Bottom Greenvale can exist as one community, now we see where the tension between the two is coming back again, but the police need to go inside there and find the guns," Phillips told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday.
Greenvale, a socially unstable and economically depressed community, is located just a mile west of the Mandeville town centre.
Phillips comments followed a drive-by shooting at the entrance of a party on Ward Avenue in Mandeville on Saturday. Twenty-eight-year-old Romario Allen, otherwise called Rue Rue, a resident of Dunsinane (near Top Greenvale) succumbed to the injuries he received in that attack. The shooting happened a week after Allen's birthday.
The police report that about 2:15 am Allen and another man, who were reportedly patrons at a nightclub and lounge, were shot by gunmen travelling in a motorcar.
It is suspected that Allen's murder was in reprisal for the August 5 killing of 35-year-old Adrian Nation otherwise called Blue and his uncle 68-year-old Leslie Levy otherwise called Lloyd or Rasta Man in Greenvale. The two were buried last Friday, less than 12 hours before Allen was shot on Ward Avenue.
Efforts to get a comment from the Manchester police were unsuccessful up to mid-afternoon on Sunday.
But Phillips is not awaiting the official word from the police as he told the Observer that the violence in Greenvale poses a threat to wider Mandeville.
"We need a team inside there to go find the guns, because obviously there are guns inside there and it seems to be quite a bit. We need to get the guns off the streets," said Phillips.
"If it spills over as it is it is going to affect the town of Mandeville too as you would have seen on Ward Avenue. In the past it affected the town of Mandeville, so it needs to be cauterised quite early," added Phillips.
Police placed a restriction on entertainment events and imposed a curfew in Greenvale following the August 5 double murder in an effort to avert reprisals for the attack in which it was believed that Nation was the target.
On Friday grieving Greenvale residents, some of whom displayed their anger at the funeral of the two men, warned of reprisals. Nation and Levy were interned at the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Dunsinane (neighbouring Greenvale).
"They [the police] know the perpetrators. They know the violence producers. They need to take them out. The community right now is in fear. I mean up to yesterday [Saturday] even at 4:00 pm all the shops in the square were closed and the community is in fear right now," he said.
"...If it is that the police in Manchester needs help then [they] at head office in Kingston have to send the help, but don't wait until the community reaches a point of no return and more lives are lost. We keep on moving too slow," Phillips warned as he prepared to attend a meeting with the police on Sunday afternoon.
"Names are being called. Police have been in there for a long time. They know who… are the troublemakers and they just need to build the cases and take them out…I mean not kill them, but to at least build these cases and get them in front of the courts," Phillips said.