Crime holding back Bedward Gardens
A dark cloud of gloom and fear sits over the community of Bedward Gardens, in St Andrew. During a visit to the community on Friday, one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the gunmen will be the Grinch this yuletide season.
"Is more than a week now mi nuh sleep on my bed because shot can fly in anytime. Christmas cancel this year but mi not surprised because every holiday yuh see shot a fire like pepper light. The crime wicked round here suh, and a more than 40 years mi call here suh home but its not a nice place," he said.
The man said that so deadly is the internal war that he had very little choice except to send his children to stay in other parishes until the violence cools down.
"MoBay and Spanish Town a gwan wicked, but a there so mi send my kids gone. Mi never want them to separate from me but its not safe here. Nobody children nah guh play this holiday because not a day or night nuh pass when shot nuh buss," he said.
Notorious criminal organisations
Bedward Gardens is named for Alexander Bedward, founder of Bedwardism. The community, which is torn by violencce, was once home to two of the island's most notorious criminal organisations, the Dog Paw and Banton gangs. Throughout their reign, the gangs engaged in deadly feud leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
"Yuh have a time when the place cool down and nice but not this year. Mi wish tings would just stop. Mi woulda waah can play my music loud or sit pon di ends with mi brethren dem and enjoy the holiday but it no look suh. Sometimes we don't even know what start the war. The place will deh here good today, and by likkle more, it under bondage. It rough bad, especially for people who have to go work and come in late," one resident said.