August Town gunmen flee to hills

Residents ordered to bring them food, clothing, phone credit or face death

Friday, February 23, 2018

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CRIMINALS in August Town, St Andrew, are fleeing to nearby hills to elude the security forces and are threatening residents and their relatives with death if they refuse to provide them with food, clothing and phone credit, the Jamaica Observer was told yesterday.

According to two sources who we will not identify, the gunmen, who have been terrorising the community, are making use of the hill behind Goldsmith Villa, which can take them to Mountain View; the hill behind Dallas Castle that can take them to Bull Bay; and the hill behind African Gardens that can take them to Harbour View.

The hoodlums, the sources said, are familiar with the rugged terrain and thus are able to avoid police and soldiers who are patrolling the community.

The hills, they added, give the gunmen a clear view of what is taking place on the flat as well as the advantage of holding the higher ground.

“They [residents] will have to carry up half a bag of rice and stuff for the men. If politicians and the bigger heads them allow them to take over the hills, that is it. We would have lost in the fight against crime, because when the police and soldiers are heading for the hills they have the advantage because they will be able to see them,” one of the sources said.

The other source chided politicians, saying that they are to be blamed for the crime wave sweeping the country and more so August Town.

“The legislation is the problem, and INDECOM (Independent Commission of Investigations). You think a policeman going to spend fi him own money fi fight a court? Fi just see a lawyer is $30,000; you check it out. This is without him telling you how him going help you. So before a man shoot a bad man and haffi face INDECOM and pay $30,000 him a go think twice. Government nah pay it,” the source stressed.

Last month, National Security Minister Robert Montague said that he had made a submission to Cabinet to increase the sum available in the Legal Defence Fund for police officers.

The facility was established to assist the police with covering legal expenses if they are deemed to have committed infractions while on duty.

Montague emphasised the need to boost the facility, noting that while the fund has $20 million, “the first bill I got was for $107 million”.

He said he was optimistic that Cabinet would give favourable consideration to the submission.

The Observer was also told that the criminals from are threatening to kill inspector in charge of the area Steven Taylor.

According to one of the sources, the gunmen have threatened to also “shoot up” the August Town Police Station.

However, when the Observer contacted Inspector Taylor on Wednesday, he said he had “no knowledge of any of that”.

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