Efforts are being made by the Mandeville police to battle the rise in crime that has been evident in the town and its environs since the start of the yuletide season this year.
The rise in criminal activity being observed in Mandeville at this time is no anomaly, as this is a trend that occurs every year.
Detective Corporal Jean Miller of the Area 3 division said that “In an effort to combat crime, we [the Mandeville police] have ramped up our efforts in community policing and so have assigned a patrol car to every community.” She said that this assures resident of their safety as this enables quick response from the police. She went on to say that residents can contact their community patrol officers rather than the
Mandeville police station.
Karae Brown, resident of the Woodlawn housing scheme acknowledged the presence of police patrol in her community. When asked if she felt afraid, especially considering the fatal shooting of a man in the nearby community of Richmond, she said, “Well kinda but am not feeling fearful really as Richmond is not really exactly where I live and the entire area is under police patrol.”
In addition to police patrol, a massive operation was carried out by the Mandeville police in collaboration with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in the town of Mandeville on Friday, December 12 in an effort to battle the perceived rise in crime. Head of Police in Manchester, Superintendent Melvin Brown said that, “We want to do our best to bring a sense of calm and comfort to people ahead of Christmas.” He also added that he aims to disrupt criminal activities by whatever means necessary.
There has also been a noticeably greater number of police personnel in and around the town since the start of the festive season. Police have been mobilized in areas such as the market and other crowded shopping areas like Regency Centre and Willogate, bus parks and taxi parks. Police officers are always seen stationed in areas where ATMs are present. At the Regency Centre in particular, the police can be observed questioning individuals who are are deemed as suspicious.
A street vendor known by her first name Marv who has her stall in the Christiana bus park said, “Police deh all bout inna Mandeville ‘an every minute me haffi a run with me goods.” She also indicated that although it was exhausting constantly looking out for police, she felt safe knowing that they were around especially during this busy season. .
Another vendor who sells phone cards on the corner of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Johnson’s Pharmacy also reiterated the presence of police on the road. She said, “Police are always out here in the town centre. Them always pulling over people and searching people who they think do things.”
Police began their efforts at the start of the yuletide season at November 1 and will continue to the end of the season to January 2, 2015.