Commanding Officer for the St Catherine North Police Division, Senior Superintendent Howard Chambers, has urged party promoters in Linstead and other parts of the division to use their influence to help fight crime – not merely to host events.
He did so while declaring that he will not give the go-ahead for events to be held in communities that are tense and that continue to record murders.
Since the start of the year, nine people have been slain in the Linstead police area. The main communities of focus are Trinity, Time and Patience, Victoria and Banbury, as well as Commodore.
“If a particular district in Linstead is having shootings and murders and the area is very tense, it would be foolish or folly of us to sign onto a permit when the threat level is high,” the senior superintendent said.
He added: “One of the things I keep asking even the event promoters right across the division is that, we don’t want you to be just an important figure when it comes to party and events. You have that influence where you keep things and so many people can come to your event. I want you to spread that influence right across your community and be like a vanguard for change in your community – the beacon of change [and] the person who is ensuring as much as possible that peace reigns within the community… Tell the young people to keep calm; tell whosoever carrying the guns and creating mayhem that you gonna tell the police and carry them in. Those types of things [you should do] so that peace reigns.”
The commanding officer further noted that, if peace prevails, he would have no issue signing permits for events.
“We don’t have anything against parties and events. However, the conditions to have these events must be right…” he said. “Once there is peace within your community and we can have that type of assurance, then finger free I will sign on those permits… When you look on my desk, most of the applications for permits are pretty much from the Linstead belt. So it is of importance that persons in Linstead understand the division’s position as it relates to parties or events and the rules and regulations.”
Promoters who don’t adhere to the rules will have a difficulty getting approval to host future events, Senior Superintendent Chambers emphasized during a Linstead community meeting hosted on April 14 via Zoom.
In the meantime, Head of Linstead Police Station, Inspector Maxine Russell-Thomas, warned that law-enforcers will not let up on stakeholders who breach the Noise Abatement Act.
“Any breach of the law will result in future permits not being granted. Some persons might be experiencing this at this point wherein their [sound] systems have committed numerous breaches. Police have seized their equipment on many occasions [and] they have been warned on many occasions. However, they have decided not to comply. If you continue to be non-compliant, you will find yourself losing your equipment,” said Inspector Russell-Thomas.
She also noted that breach of the Noise Abatement Act carries a fine not exceeding 100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
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