The newly appointed officer in charge of Linstead Police Station in St. Catherine is still meeting with residents to ascertain their desires regarding law enforcement in the Linstead area, but her mind is already made up especially regarding the fight against congestion, illegal vending and serious crimes.
Inspector Judith Pownall also noted that there are “too many robberies” taking place, adding that job losses due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are pushing up such crime.
But she warned that the police will not relent in having thieves apprehended.
“Due to the COVID situation, many persons are not employed, so you will find that many thieves are out,” she said. “As long as we know them, we are going after them. You can’t have persons robbing others of their hard earned cash. Even those in the praedial larceny system stealing persons’ animals and their ground provisions; what you leave them (victims) to do now? Once we know the persons stealing, we are going after them.”
During an awards ceremony hosted by the management of Linstead Transport Centre on December 12, Inspector Pownall noted that congestion of Linstead town centre provides a haven for thieves and other law-breakers. In that same breath, she implored bus and taxi operators to use the hub.
“We want you to use the bus park and have less congestion in the town centre that persons can move freely. Once it is congested, it is a [haven] for thieves, and thieves thrive in these areas. So, once you comply, we are very good friends,” she said while announcing that police presence will be intensified in Linstead town during the festive season.
Inspector Pownall, during the awards ceremony, also stated that the police are not targeting operators of public passenger vehicles. However, she lamented that some operators have no regard for the law.
“The perception is that police officers don’t like bus operators and we target them and stuff like that. Actually, we don’t. But we do know that there are some of them that are non-compliant; they break every rule. We are law enforcers, so our duty is to enforce the law and we will always enforce the law. That’s what we are; that’s what we do,” the officer asserted.
She also endorsed a call made during the ceremony for bus and taxi operators to acquire and wear Transport Authority identification badges. “If it is your career, then you must love what you do. And once you love what you do then you are to be professional at it. Wear your badge; it will identify you against the odds out there,” Inspector Pownall said.
She, in the meantime, described herself as a people person, who also is a stickler for respect.
“I am a people person and so they (residents) can expect to come to the Linstead Police Station and have the police deal with them in a respectable manner. It is all about citizens gaining trust and confidence in the police. I plan to improve that as well as have my officers doing same,” she added.
Inspector Pownall, who originally is from St. Andrew, started her policing career at Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay in the 1990s. She later spent 25 years at Constant Spring Police Station in St Andrew North. In January 2016, she commenced her stint at Spanish Town Police Station in the St. Catherine North Division where Linstead Police Station is also located.
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