DEPUTY MAYOR AFRAID OF SPAN­ISH TOWN

The Star (Jamaica) - - FRONT PAGE - STAR Writer

In the midst of brew­ing ten­sion in Span­ish Town, af­ter the threat of a Christ­mas mas­sacre that has been cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia, the deputy mayor of the town told THE STAR he wants to dis­tance him­self from trou­bles in the Old Cap­i­tal be­cause he is “fraid like puss”.

Ral­ston ‘John’ Wil­son, who has been in charge of the vi­o­len­ce­plagued Span­ish Town since Mayor Nor­man Scott left the is­land re­cently, said that he has no in­ter­est in want­ing to find out about the per­ils that are promised to hit the Old Cap­i­tal.

“You don’t fill into some­thing that you can get your­self into trou­ble, or even lose your life and you don’t know much about it,” Wil­son said.

“I am a born coun­try­man and the divi­sion that I am re­spon­si­ble for is peace­ful,” said Wil­son, who rep­re­sents the Gin­ger Ridge Divi­sion in West Cen­tral St Cather­ine.

“I have never been into any divi­sion from I am in pol­i­tics that cre­ate any vi­o­lence, and when I hear bout gun­run­ning, mi fraid like puss.”

When THE STAR asked Wil­son if it is his job to know about con­cerns of the peo­ple of Span­ish Town, this is how he re­sponded. “You think a coun­try­man who don’t know the peo­ple round town can go and ask any ques­tion, and let them go out there and call your name say­ing that you are say­ing this and you are say­ing that,” Wil­son said.

“The mayor knows more about it. He has two body­guards and I don’t have a soul.”

A voice note, which has been mak­ing its way across var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms, in­di­cates that the Old Cap­i­tal could be in for may­hem as thugs war for con­trol of the di­vided Clans­man gang.

“The man a seh him a come wipe out ev­ery­thing inna the town ... . Span­ish Town nah see nuh Christ­mas,” the mes­sage said. “If yuh can avoid the town, avoid the town at all cost.”

Su­per­in­ten­dent Stephanie Lind­say, who is in charge of the com­mu­ni­ca­tion arm of the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force, said that the po­lice are sat­is­fied that they have enough boots on the ground to deal with the sit­u­a­tion in Span­ish Town.

“We will con­tinue to main­tain our pres­ence there and make our as­sess­ments, and if some­thing change, then we will change our ap­proach,” Lind­say said.

Mean­while, the Pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Cham­ber of Com­merce, War­ren McDon­ald, is call­ing on the cit­i­zens of Span­ish Town to as­sist the po­lice in restor­ing or­der as the threat could be detri­men­tal to busi­ness.

COM­MERCE DAMP­ENED

“Peo­ple need to com­mu­ni­cate to the po­lice. The in­former cul­ture, that type of thing can­not work be­cause this will def­i­nitely dam­pen com­merce,” McDon­ald said.

Ac­cord­ing to McDon­ald, se­cu­rity cost in Ja­maica is 17 per cent of to­tal cost for busi­nesses, which is much higher than the coun­try’s re­gional com­peti­tors.

Wil­son said that the peo­ple of his divi­sion are scared of Span­ish Town. “A num­ber of peo­ple from the ru­ral side that I know are re­fus­ing to go there be­cause of the sort of things that are hap­pen­ing and the types of threats that are cir­cu­lat­ing,” Wil­son said.

Ral­ston Wil­son

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