Mixed reactions to state of emergency
A66-year-old resident of Rose Town in Kingston was among many persons who have welcomed the declaration of a state of emergency in the Kingston Western and Kingston Central police divisions.
“Me glad! It shoulda be one month it a last fah. I don’t know what, but since corona is like gunman get more gun. Me tired of this… every time I hear a shot my heart just start race because I live in a board house. Anything can happen and we don’t know where shot coming from,” the senior citizen said.
The advanced security measure is for a period of two weeks, but is likely to be extended by Parliament. In announcing the state of emergency yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that it will connect with the ones existing in the Kingston East and St Andrew South police divisions. This will create a ‘security corridor’ along the Waterfront from Bull Bay in the east to Ferry in the west.
“The space now declared has seen increased criminal activity in the second quarter of this year. These areas, if left unchecked,have shown historically that they can spiral to chaotic ends, even having national disruptive impact,” he said.
One Tivoli Gardens resident says the SOE will be effective with proper policing.
“We don’t have a problem … from yuh nuh inna nuh badness and yuh nah walk round wid gun, dat nuh supposed to bada yuh. Our problem is that the police dem nah deal with people wid nuh respect. Dem nah deal wid we right from long time. Yuh caa beat, beat up the yute dem and a act like seh a some old dog yah deal wid,” he said.
ANTAGONISE INNOCENT PEOPLE
“The police dem fi know a who dem a look fah. Gunman nah hide inna house, so stop antagonise innocent people and go look up inna the trappy dem.”
Another resident says the SOE doesn’t come as a surprise.
“After what gwaan last week, me know this did a go come and, honestly, we need it. Too much foolishness a gwaan inna this place now… dem need fi scrape up the careless yute dem offa the road. All dem a do a terrorise people fi dem things. Dem need fi scrape dem up before dem kill we off.”
Meanwhile, some Denham Town residents do not believe the state of emergency is likely to bring about any change.
“We have ZOSO (Zone of Special Operations) how long now in Denham Town and shot still a beat every night. Me nuh see wah change! Dem still a kill off di yute dem and di man dem still fraid fi dem life, so me nuh see how dat a help we,” one woman said.
“We live inna fear cause we nuh know if a man a guh pass and aim offa we. ... Police can a patrol dung a point A and man shoot man a point B. ZOSO nah work dung yah, so me nuh think state of emergency a guh work either.”