In their attempt to assure residents that efforts are being made to apprehend criminals and restore calm, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force this week walked through two Linstead communities hit by gun violence in recent months.
Since the start of the year, three women and three men have been murdered in the Linstead police area. In the latest incidents, gunmen went on a rampage in two days, shooting two women – one fatally – at separate business establishments in Time and Patience district.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in charge of Linstead Zone, Sharmitch Barnett, on Tuesday, lead her officers on a walk through Time and Patience as well as Trinity where gunmen also struck recently.
“The tour is about us partnering with the community,” DSP Barnett told The Beacon. “Partnership is extremely important because what we aim to do is to let citizens recognize that the police, on our own, are unable to solve some of the challenges that the citizens experience… Every opportunity that we get is an opportunity to encourage citizens to partner with us and to give information.”
The residents were appreciative of the police’s gesture, DSP Barnett said.
In an interview earlier this month with The Beacon, Commanding officer for St Catherine North Police Division, Senior Superintendent Howard Chambers, disclosed that the Linstead police’s investigative capability has been strengthened, with more detectives being assigned to cases in the area. The police, along with members of the Jamaica Defence Force, also carried out a number of operations in and around Linstead this month.
Persons of interest were apprehended during those operations, DSP Barnett disclosed.
She gave an assurance that, notwithstanding resource constraints, the Linstead Police are determined to arrest the crime situation.
“We always work with what we have and we will never have sufficient resources. And so we continue to use the little that we have to do the best that we can. I am certain that the residents will see the impact, they will feel the impact and they will know that we are here for them,” DSP Barnett said.
She and her officers – some of whom engaged a group of Trinity boys in a friendly game of football – were not alone on the tour Tuesday. They were accompanied by Justices of the Peace Camille Hudson and Latisha Reid-Armstrong, as well as representatives of the Linstead Community Development Committee (Linstead CDC).
First Vice President of the Linstead CDC, Ruby Tenn, who also serves as a Justice of the Peace, commended the police for the gesture, noting that the officers involved in the tour were all from the Linstead Zone.
“I think it was very good, residents were receptive, people talked with us, and people feel comfortable with us in the communities. They are hoping that we will come back soon because they want our visit to be a regular thing,” Tenn said. “The Linstead CDC works very close with the police; likewise the police with us… We were really happy to be a part of that walk through the communities.”
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