Manchester police resources stretched by St James SOE - Bunting
Member of Parliament for Central Manchester Peter Bunting, during yesterday's sitting of the House of Representatives, contended that the resources to fight crime in the parish are hampered because of the States of Emergency (SOE) particularly in St James.
While outlining his happiness with the reduction in violent crimes where SOEs have been declared, he challenged that too many people were being killed elsewhere.
Bunting said, "Notwithstanding the three concurrent SOE running in different geographic areas across Jamaica, just last week there were still 32 murders. In my own constituency ... over the holiday weekend, 11 a.m., broad daylight, five persons shot, two fatally in what would normally be a relatively quiet parish in the sense of violent crime."
He said that lack of resources could have played a hand in the authorities not being able to respond to the attack or come to the aid of the victims.
HAVE TO SACRIFICE
Bunting said, "It is suspected that the target was Boom Head, the leader of the Grey Ground gang; he was shot but not fatally. The link I want to make Prime Minister is that twice per week, a fighting patrol of eight policemen and a vehicle are taken from Manchester police division and sent to St James to support the security operations down there. It is precisely that type of fighting patrol which would have been needed to respond to the car load of gunmen that came up and shot up that playfield in Three Chains."
Bunting argued that the Manchester police, which already have thinly stretched resources both in personnel and vehicles, have to sacrifice even more to support St James.
"A balloon effect of the SOE is that when St James is 'squeezed', migrating criminals run to other areas," he said. "The strategy has to be a national strategy ... yes we have to respond to flare-ups whenever they occur, but we can't forget the rest of the island at the same time."
Bunting also said that according to the police, the Grey Ground gang in his constituency extorts scammers.
The alleged scammers Bunting said, may be among migrating criminals form other areas.
Several persons were hospitalised in critical condition following the daylight shooting that claimed the lives of two men.
The police say gunmen travelling in a motor car attacked a group of people in Three Chains, a community close to Mandeville.
According to the police, 20-year-old Mathew Johnson and Damion Britton, 36, succumbed to the gunshot wounds.