Women on high alert - Fearful passengers protecting themselves from criminals

January 24, 2018
A taxi driver dropping off passengers in downtown Kingston in February 2015.
@Normal:Operating a taxi is normally seen as a man's job.

With fears of being robbed or abducted, some commuters in the Corporate Area say that they have taken precautions to ensure that they don't fall victim to these crimes.

Sasha-gay Pitterson, who lives in Gordon Town and works in Half-Way Tree, says that she tries to take taxis that she is familiar with.

"All I do is drive with the drivers that I am used to, although sometimes yuh late and waan reach quick so yuh just jump inna a car although is a risk. But when yuh a tek dem, and even di one weh yuh know, yuh haffi just pray and ask God for protection," she told THE STAR.

Tasha, a student of the University of West Indies, said that she avoids taking public passenger vehicles that are carrying mostly males.

"Is either a group of us travel together or I don't go in those taxis. Crime is so rampant, so yuh just have to be on the lookout and take precautions whenever you can," she explained.

One night I was coming from school, about after 7, and there were two other girls in the car and a guy plus di driver, and di car got punctured just below the KFC on Old Hope Road, and I got very scared because the driver look rough," she recounted.

She said that When the driver stopped to change the tyre, she was constantly looking at her surroundings, while glancing at the driver to observe what he was doing.

"I was watching him, and mi a look if nobody a come out a none di lane dem, cause dem always a rob people a Mona. But after we stan' up there fi a couple of minutes, I see a 75 (bus) coming so I stop it and jump inna it, and him (the taxi driver) tell the guy and two girls to go on the bus," she said.




Meanwhile, Richard, a taxi driver who plies the Half-Way Tree to White Hall route, told THE STAR that he has noticed that some passengers that travel in his vehicle are very cautious.

"Dem wi ask mi fi drive wid di roof light on," he said.

He added that once some females enter the vehicle, he can hear them describing the vehicle to someone on the phone.

"A bare call di woman dem mek, man, and dem beg yuh fi turn off if dem nuh live pon di main when dem a travel a night, and when yuh reach a dem gate yuh see dem man a wait pon dem," he told THE STAR.

The taxi driver also said that some women are even travelling with weapons to protect themselves.

"One a mi likkle friend weh mi carry most nights tek out a long knife outta har bag and show me say she haffi walk wid it cause she go home late a night time cause she work a restaurant," he said.

Another cabbie, Jerome Chambers, who operates on the Duhaney Park to Half-Way Tree route, said that passengers don't want him to make turn-offs.

"A woman tell mi some bad words because mi turn off cause she say mi a go kill har. Mi haffi explain to har say a di traffic mi a cut out," he told THE STAR.

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