Business operators in the Linstead area of St Catherine increasingly think they are being targeted by criminals, and are particularly concerned about their safety this Christmas season, said businessman and Councillor for the Treadways Division Sydney Rose.
Rose, who lost about $4 million in merchandise and cash when gunmen robbed his employee this month, said the fact that his operation was hit is a strong message to be heeded.
“When you see they target a politician, you know they are no respecter of anybody,” the politician said.
He further stated that a number of Linstead entrepreneurs raised concern about safety during a recent meeting involving them, the police and area councillors.
“That was the general complaint; the people are not safe in the space… I would have been observing over time that there is a steady increase in robberies within the space,” said Councillor Rose.
He lamented that congestion is contributing to crime in Linstead town. “With the congestion in the town, it gives the criminals easy maneuverings and they are easily disguised within the town,” Councillor Rose reasoned.
He is also concerned about the quality of policing, adding that more police officers and vehicles are needed.
“We need vehicles; there is a shortage of vehicles at the police station… They are woefully short of not only vehicles, but also personnel,” the councillor told The Beacon.
When asked if he thinks the Linstead business operators are being targeted by the criminals, he replied: “I would believe so based on what is happening.”
Here are some of the Linstead shootings involving business operators this year:
- On March 10, shopkeeper Verona Slack, also called Trudy, was gunned down about 9:30PM, shortly after she closed her business and was heading to her home in Victoria, Linstead.
- On April 6, gunmen, shortly after 7PM, shot and wounded a businessman and murdered his girlfriend Alicia Miller in a shop across from Linstead Primary School.
- On the afternoon of May 15, a gunman shot and killed Charles Nugent, also known as Bready, while he was delivering breads in the town of Linstead.
- On July 17, shopekeeper Samuel Henry, also known as Balen, was shot dead about 9PM in the Savannah area of Wakefield, Linstead.
- On the night of October 11, gunmen shot and wounded businessman Wayne Stanbury while he was heading to his home in Linstead.
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