Kingston residents welcome states of emergency

November 15, 2021
Police patrol a section of Franklyn Town in Kingston during a 48-hour curfew that was imposed in the community in the Kingston East division.
Police patrol a section of Franklyn Town in Kingston during a 48-hour curfew that was imposed in the community in the Kingston East division.

"Thank yuh Jesus, give God the glory because mi can sleep good inna mi bed at nights now."

That was the reaction from a Maxfield Avenue resident yesterday when she heard that the community was among those placed under a state of emergency (SOE).

"The way mi happy, mi wish mi could a grow wings like a dove and fly. Mi wouldn't mind the soldiers dem set up tent inna mi yard, because all mi want is peace because mi too old fi dead," she added.

Maxfield Avenue is located in the Kingston West Police Division, one of seven divisions that has been placed under a SOE. The others are St James, Westmoreland, Hanover, St Andrew South, Kingston Central and Kingston East. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that all the divisions have recorded increases in violent crimes, ranging from 16 to 57 per cent.

THE STAR also spoke with a resident of Gem Road, also in the Kingston West division, who said she had to flee her home after she reported a man to the police.

"Right now mi nuh live anywhere because dem put mi out. If yuh notice is a underpants yuh see mi in because all mi panty dem tief out mi house. Dem move with the dresser, bed and everything so mi and mi kids nuh have anything. Mi put in French windows on mi house and all dat dem gone with," she said.

She stated that she is extremely welcoming of the new security measures, especially since two of her family members were shot and injured in the continuous warfare. During the interview, the news team observed a police vehicle on patrol while several members of the Jamaica Defence Force walked through the troubled space.

"Mi really happy fi di curfew and di SOE dem because it make we feel safe. Mi would love if dem could drop one tent right beside di gully whe di man dem a traffic through. Mi use to all work at another section in Kingston and dem send come tell mi say dem know whe mi work suh mi have to just stop," she said.

Another woman said she was also forced to relocate and now has to be staying with loved ones in another community.

"One a di time a country mi reach and for 11 days I had to sleep on cold floor because dem [gangsters] put mi out. Mi love da move ya whe di government come with because the place need some intervention and order," she said.

Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson said the new SOEs will be imposed in addition to other security measures currently in force. He said up to Friday, there were 1,240 murders in Jamaica.

On Sunlight Street, a business owner said that while she and others long for peace, she hopes that they will not be harassed by the law men.

"A long time we under curfew as far as mi concerned and it make it bad fi business. Sometimes all three o'clock a day time police a come tell we to lock we business place. Mi want peace, of course, but mi can't bother with the bag a terrorise ting from the police dem. Is business mi do. I don't know who a fire gun. I am a law-abiding resident who a try earn a honest dollar," she said.

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