Hope extended

Acting commissioner of police Clifford Blake pleased with SOE in St James

Observer West writer

Thursday, February 08, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Acting Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake says the security forces are encouraged by the drop in the number of murders committed in St James since the imposition of the state of public emergency in the parish.

Stressing that crime has been having a negative impact on the police, the acting commissioner said St James, in particular, has worn down officers of the police force, including divisional and area commanders.

Since the start of the state of emergency on January 18, there have been three murders in the parish, which last year saw a record 335 murders.

Addressing a stakeholders' meeting in St James following a tour of the parish on the weekend, acting commissioner Blake noted that such a quiet period has not been seen in St James for many years.

“Since that time... let me tell you, we have never seen this period in St James in years, and I want the citizens of St James to support us. It has been a good start. It is feeling good. Personally for me, each morning I get up and I look at the morning report and I when I see what is happening every day, it extends my hope,” stated Blake, who carries the rank of deputy commissioner of police (DCP).

The DCP urged residents to see how best to make such an experience a lasting one beyond the state of public emergency in the parish.

“How can we transform what is actually being achieved now in a long-lasting secure St James?” asked DCP Blake, as he pledged the support of the army and police in the quest to suppress crime in the parish.

The state of public emergency was last week extended for another 30 days.

Meanwhile, following a tour of several communities in St James on the weekend, National Security Minister Robert Montague said during his visit to areas such as Flanker, Norwood and Salt Spring, the residents he spoke with said that “the security forces were very professional, there was no disrespect to them and they were quite happy and giving their support.”

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