MoBay gangsters scoff at children curfew
Some criminals in St James say the recent curfew imposed on students in the parish will not deter them from being involved in crime.
THE STAR spoke with two gang members who said the curfew, which dictates that all students under 17 in the parish have to be off the roads before 9 p.m., will not cause the dent in youth involvement in crime like the police expect.
"Them young boy deh a come to we to find a way to get inna gangs so the way them make it look like we a recruit, a nuh suh it go," said 24-year-old Leslie Francis*.
According to Francis, who has been involved in criminal activities since age 15, students who get involved in gangs usually envy the lifestyle of gang members and try to get a foot into the gangs in St James.
"Them see the money and respect weh we get and them want it fi dem self," he explained.
Francis admitted that recruiting does take place, but it is not as widespread as it is believed to be by the public and police.
Another gang member, Tony Blake*, told THE STAR that while his gang actively recruits persons, these persons are not unwilling participants, which he said is the impression the police give.
"More while you see dem roun the community and them no need much encouragement to start doing small tasks fi we until dem fully recruited," he added.
Blake also alleged that students who are recruited are often involved in crimes before they become affiliated with the gangs.
"Nuff a dem a make one pop (handmade gun) before them join we (his hang) and have them own likkle gang weh them rob the pickney dem a dem school," said Blake.
Francis, who corroborated Blake's argument, said that the students recruited are already headed for a life of crime when they join gangs in the parish.
Both gang members had advice for the head of the St James police, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor.
"What him need fi do is cut out all the gang dem inna the high school and all age cause a deh so it start," said Francis.
Blake said McGregor and Members of Parliament need to find ways to keep students gainfully occupied to prevent them from entering the world of crime.
Attempts to speak to McGregor and Mayor of Montego Bay, Glendon Harris, last night proved futile.
A similar curfew was imposed in West Kingston by convicted gangster Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, but ended after Coke was extradited. It has, however, been reinstituted by the police.
* Names changed