Po­lice fear more war in Kingston West af­ter Den­ham Town jail­break

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Corey Robin­son Staff Re­porter corey.robin­son@glean­erjm.com

PO­LICE ARE fear­ful that the re­cent es­cape of nine ac­cused men from the Den­ham Town lock-up could add more fuel to the fire of war al­ready blaz­ing in sec­tions of the Kingston West Divi­son.

“That divi­sion has seen se­vere crime chal­lenges and the po­lice have done a sig­nif­i­cant job with the re­cov­ery of five firearms for last week, and a ma­jor vi­o­lence pro­ducer was also killed in a shoot-out with the po­lice and an­other ar­rested,” said As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner As­san Thomp­son yes­ter­day.

“We saw a sem­blance of or­der be­ing re­stored, and to have this hap­pen at this time is most un­for­tu­nate. You would not want at a time when you are clean­ing the streets for them to be fur­ther con­tam­i­nated with per­sons who might feel obliged to com­mit crime,” said Thomp­son, cor­rect­ing ear­lier re­ports that four po­lice­men have been in­ter­dicted for the jail­break.

“They have been sus­pended from pay and duty. It’s not an in­ter­dic­tion,” he said, not­ing that the In­spec­torate has launched a probe.

Four of Sun­day’s es­capees were from the Den­ham Town and Tivoli Gar­dens com­mu­ni­ties, which have been locked in a heated ri­valry that has left at least a dozen per­sons dead since Jan­uary.

REARREST

One of the four, 19-year-old Oshane Mor­gan of Ox­ford Street in Den­ham Town, who was charged with rob­bery and il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of am­mu­ni­tion, was re­ar­rested while try­ing to board a bus in the Nashville bus park in Manch­ester yes­ter­day morn­ing. The other es­capees are still on the loose.

Thomp­son said that coastal se­cu­rity has been bol­stered to pre­vent the men from flee­ing Ja­maica, and that the po­lice have made con­tact with the es­capees’ rel­a­tives to warn them against har­bour­ing the fugi­tives.

The Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force spent more than $120 mil­lion last year, some $12.6 mil­lion of which at the Den­ham Town Po­lice Sta­tion, to im­prove se­cu­rity and de­ten­tion con­di­tions at lock-ups is­land­wide.

The Kingston Cen­tral and Half-Way Tree po­lice lock-ups com­manded the bulk of the ex­pen­di­ture, cost­ing more than $15 mil­lion and $16 mil­lion, re­spec­tively, to up­grade bunk beds, re­place sawn away grilles, paint de­faced walls and re­store de­stroyed bath­room, and light­ing fix­tures.

Nonethe­less, some 43 de­tainees es­caped from lock-ups last year, the ma­jor­ity of them from re­cently ren­o­vated sta­tions.

Weeks af­ter the es­capes, three of the wards were ac­counted for – one was re­ar­rested, one turned over by his par­ents, and the other found be­headed while on the run from the po­lice.

Thomp­son could not say yes­ter­day how many others have been re­cap­tured from last year’s batch.

JER­MAINE BARN­ABY/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Den­ham Town po­lice lock-up from which nine men es­caped on Sun­day.

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