Several residents of Mandeville and surrounding areas have become more concerned about their safety due to the rise in criminal activity in recent months.
Mandeville and its environs are viewed by many as usually peaceful areas, but there has been an increase in the occurrence of break-ins, robberies and shootings as the festive season approaches.
A parent who has a child who attends Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Early Childhood Division, said that they tried to break into her apartment on deCarteret Road a few weeks ago. She said, “It was after two in the morning, when I heard someone trying to pry open the bathroom window. I quickly got up and turned on the outside light and by the time I was ready to call the police the thief was gone.” She said that since then she has been searching for a new apartment as she is fearful that the perpetrators might come to her home again.
Leroy Parker, who also lives on deCarteret Road and who oftentimes travels to the town by foot, said that he has become very concerned about his safety especially after the shooting of 44-year-old construction worker, Kenroy Montaque and 45-year-old carpenter Aaron McGeochy on the same road last month. He said, “Since the shooting I make sure that I walk home from Mandeville as early as possible because it gets dark very early…I don’t want to end up in the same situation.” Parker also said he is very wary of robbers and expressed that there have been a few instances where he has been forced to take a taxi because he was afraid.
deCarteret Road is just one of the many areas being affected by the rise in criminal activity.
Communities especially surrounding the local university, NCU, such as Knockpatrick, Newport, Cedar Grove, Cedar Gardens and Waltham have been affected by this rise in crime. There were numerous reports of students of the university being held up and robbed of their belongings. A female student in particular was reportedly held up, robbed and stabbed several times.
Third year student of NCU, Daniel Nicholas has been living in the community of Knockpatrick for the past 2 years. He said that since he has lived there it is obvious that crime in the area goes up when it comes around to the yuletide season. He said, “When Christmas time is coming, I have to be extra careful because the thieves lay wait you in an attempt to rob you.”
These sentiments were reiterated by Alex Brown who is also a student at NCU. He went on to add that “sometimes I pay the taxi extra to bring me right to my gate because I don’t want to risk getting robbed.” He also said that where he lives the streets lights are on now and then off the next and so this creates a camouflage for the criminals who tend to hide in the bushes.
With all this happening in Mandeville and surrounding areas, residents are wondering what is being done by the police to battle this rise in crime.