Thu | Oct 6, 2022

JCF to improve responsiveness to robberies

Published:Monday | July 11, 2022 | 12:06 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Major General Antony Anderson
Major General Antony Anderson

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be rolling out additional resources over the next few weeks to boost police responsiveness to robberies across several police divisions, said Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, who was speaking during the force’s monthly press conference last Tuesday.

The disclosure came following questions surrounding allegations that the police failed to address a spate of robberies in parts of southern Manchester. Stakeholders have lamented that last Saturday’s murder of 15-year-old Vesteroy Sinclair in Turner Top district in the parish, might have been thwarted if multiple calls to the police to address the matter had not fallen on deaf ears.

Reports are that the teen was shot dead after he tried to rescue his mother during a robbery attack.

Up to June 26, the parish of Manchester has recorded a total of 59 robberies; a 20.4 per cent increase when compared to 49 robberies for the 2021 corresponding period. Break-ins are also up by 21 per cent; moving from 87 for the January 1 to June 26, 2021 period, to 95 for the corresponding period this year.

The police commissioner noted that the upsurge in robberies is not unique to southern Manchester, adding that the police have been monitoring other areas, and “We actually have raised the matter of the anti-robbery strategy – it’s a feature for our operations meeting on a weekly basis, and directions have been given to the divisional commanders that are having those increases,” said Anderson.

STRATEGIC FOCUS

As at June 30, robberies across Jamaica increased by seven per cent, and break-ins up by four per cent.

Deputy Commissioner Fitz Bailey added that increased strategic focus is being placed on more organised robberies. “There is a more strategic focus on the more organised-type robberies, so whilst the divisional commanders continue to do their thing, there is also a more strategic approach to some of the more organised-type robberies that we see happening across the island,” he said.

According to Dennis Brooks, JCF’s senior communications strategist, the JCF has also been channelling efforts into public education through its communications arm, the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), to quell robberies across the island.

“From the policing side, there is that need for us to do more. But there’s also the matter of persons taking responsibility, being more aware, making themselves less of a soft target; that kind of a thing. So in relation to public education, you will see more from the CCU giving you information that you need to possibly protect yourself as well,” said Brooks.

The parish of Manchester has also recorded an 53.8 per cent increase in murders up to June 26.

The Christiana police have charged two men for the June 26 murder of 50-year-old Kenyiata Harris of West Green Crescent in St James and New Jersey.

Reports are that at about 5:15 a.m. that day, a security guard who was patrolling a premises stumbled upon a body and summoned the police. Upon their arrival, the body was seen lying on its side with wounds to the face and body. The scene was processed and the body was taken to the morgue, pending a post-mortem.

The body was later identified as that of Harris.

Those charged with Harris’ murder are Christopher Hutchinson, otherwise called ‘Indian’, 21, from Chudleigh district in Christiana, Manchester, and 21-old Tony Mcpherson, also from Chudleigh.

Their court date is being finalised.

olivia.brown@gleanerjm.com