Aggressive,smart Policing Needed To Stop Extortion And Other Serious Crimes Not Patsy Policing…

Nothing gets my blood boil­ing like hear­ing police offi­cers who are empow­ered to enforce the laws make state­ments regard­ing crime which amount to sur­ren­der.

The Spanish Town Bus park has long been a source of extor­tion accord­ing to cit­i­zens, bus oper­a­tors, and police.
In fact, the Klans-man and One order Gangs have shed much blood for con­trol of the park which has been a source of illic­it cash­flow for gang­sters for many years.

Before we address this issue it is impor­tant that there be a recog­ni­tion of this fact, crim­i­nals are always on the prowl for new and inno­v­a­tive ways to exploit weak spots in the appa­ra­tus of the nation’s secu­ri­ty.
Thus far, as is evi­denced by the wave of seri­ous crime plagu­ing the coun­try, gang­sters are not hav­ing many prob­lems in find­ing those breach­es in the levy.

The Jamaican Police have a propen­si­ty for allow­ing small issues which could eas­i­ly be stamped out to metas­ta­size into can­cer­ous tumors which even­tu­al­ly require major oper­a­tions some­times with dis­as­trous con­se­quences.
That is a fail­ure of lead­er­ship, peri­od.

The Problem of extor­tion in bus parks, Lotto-scam­ming, and truth­ful­ly the esca­la­tion of some major crimes could have been eas­i­ly con­trolled if not erad­i­cat­ed, had the police act­ed with deter­mi­na­tion and dis­patch in deal­ing with those prob­lems.

Word on the street is that Police are always involved in crimes like the illic­it Lotto-scam­ming which has mush­roomed into an inter­na­tion­al cri­sis. In fact, in a recent batch of alleged scam­mers extra­dit­ed to the United States, one police offi­cer was among the sus­pects hand­ed over to the Americans.
The prob­lem how­ev­er in instances as these is a fail­ure on the part of the senior man­age­ment tier of the force to gath­er intel­li­gence on these occur­rences in a time­ly man­ner and move deci­sive­ly toward erad­i­cat­ing these can­cer­ous crimes from the coun­try.

SSP Powell

Unfortunately for law-abid­ing Jamaicans, it appears that the last peo­ple to know whats real­ly hap­pen­ing with crime are the peo­ple tasked with its erad­i­ca­tion.
Such is the case with the prob­lem of the extor­tion rack­et in the Spanish Town bus Park and the response of the Police com­man­der Senior Superintendent Anthony Powell who has respon­si­bil­i­ty for St Catherine North Police Division.

According to cit­i­zens, bus oper­a­tors are forced to pay a $5,000 to extor­tion­ists, in a rack­et which allows so-called [shot­ta busses] to jump the line, load and go.
It is alleged that the dri­vers of oth­er bus­es, don’t escape the extor­tion­ists, as they are forced to pay $2,500 to use the park any­way.
According to local report­ing, It is believed that bus dri­ver Ervin McLeggan, who was mur­dered in the bus park last Tuesday, was on that “shot­ta bus” list but was removed after a meet­ing among the gang­sters.

There are reports that bus oper­a­tors do not report the extor­tion to the police and that because they do not report these inci­dents the police can­not act on it.
The larg­er issue it seems to me is that the police are inex­cus­ably inept if they are not aware of the long­stand­ing prob­lem of extor­tion in the Spanish Town bus park.

The response com­ing from Senior Superintendent Anthony Powell is that cit­i­zens rea­son­able demand for a police post will not solve the prob­lem.
He insists he is unaware of any shot­ta-bus list, that part is quite under­stand­able as the police are always last to know whats going on.

Powell said a team had looked at the facil­i­ty and had rec­om­mend­ed the instal­la­tion of closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­eras and oth­er mea­sures. He also not­ed that a police post was in the park before, but it was “burnt down by crim­i­nals”. “The police don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need a post there because they should be out there in the field,” Powell said, adding that the police were, in fact, in the park when gun­men attacked McLeggan on Tuesday morn­ing. “Police are always present in the park, it is just that they were not sit­u­at­ed to engage the trig­ger­man, and he man­aged to escaped.”

What a bunch of bull-shit?
It is real­ly quite sim­ple to sug­gest (1) that crim­i­nals burnt the police post to the ground and as a result, one is not nec­es­sar­i­ly whats need­ed in light of a pro­lif­er­a­tion of crime at the facil­i­ty is remark­able pure­ly on the face of it.
That’s exact­ly why a police post should be placed there with cops who take no non­sense from any­one who is not sup­posed to be in the park.

On the oth­er hand, closed cir­cuit cam­eras are always a wel­come addi­tion to law enforce­ment efforts but they in no way absolve the police of their enforce­ment oblig­a­tions.
Whats most regret­table about Powell’s state­ments are that there were offi­cers in the park but they weren’t sit­u­at­ed to engage the trig­ger man and so he escaped.

If killers can sum­mar­i­ly take some­one’s life in a sit­u­a­tion where offi­cers are present (regard­less of where they are sit­u­at­ed in the gen­er­al vicin­i­ty) and escape, what chance does the nation have in this exis­ten­tial fight in which it is engaged?

SSP Anthony Powell and I entered the police train­ing school togeth­er we grad­u­at­ed togeth­er, I applaud his ser­vice to our nation, how­ev­er, I part com­pa­ny with his think­ing on this issue. Said Powell,  “The police don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need a post there because they should be out there in the field.”

No SSP Powell, the Police need to be where crimes are being com­mit­ted in the same way you place fire­men to fight a fire where there is a fire, not just out there in the field.