Police deterring pickpockets for Christmas


December 18, 2015
File These two plain clothes policemen caught this man redhanded stealing from persons in the bus terminal of South Parade, downtown Kingston, in September. He was arrested.

The pickpockets are busy in downtown Kingston as they try to see how many shoppers they can rob so they too can have a Merry Christmas.

However, a pickpocket was overheard this week saying, "Mi can hardly make a move" because too many police are on the streets.

A shopper said she felt very safe downtown because of the police who were out in large numbers ensuring that people were not robbed.

A policewoman explained that, at this time of the year, people have more money to shop because of preparation for Christmas. She said many Jamaicans abroad always try to send money for their relatives during the Christmas season.

"There are too many lazy young men around, and they just don't want to work," she said.

"I talk to them all the time and some of them will tell you that they cannot work for minimum wage. However, they are the very ones who are ready to rob the people who go out to work for minimum wage.

"It is frightening to see how many of the young men are committing crimes because they do not want to live a productive life. If I had the power, I would scrape them up and take them out into the rural areas and give them all the idle lands to farm.

One of her colleagues, on hearing her comments, remarked that farming was very hard work.

"I grew up on a farm and my parents were farmers and farming was very hard work for them," the policeman explained.

Commenting further, he said,"If they do not want to work for minimum wage, then it is not possible that they would be interested in farming."

The policewoman said she was concerned about the young men as well as young women.

"There are so many cases in which women are also involved in crime and prostitution," she added.

"So many things are going very wrong in this country, and it makes our work harder to try to cut down on crime," the policeman said.

The policeman said he spent his free time helping to counsel the young men in his community and some will listen and change their ways, but others are very stubborn.

"I always tell them to get an education or learn a skill because a life of crime will only lead to an early death for them," he said.

He said last week he arrested an 18-year-old youth for stealing a chain. He said when the boy's mother heard what he had done, she collapsed. He said when he asked the youth why he stole the chain, he said he was 'hustling' to buy clothes to wear to a dance during the Christmas season.

"I want to issue a stern warning to pickpockets that if they are caught stealing and taken before the court, once they are found guilty they can be fined or jailed for the offence," the policeman said.

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