SOE flooding Westmoreland with criminals - Sav mayor fears more bloodshed
While the state of public emergency (SOE) is bringing relative peace to St James, it appears to be creating a nightmare for Westmoreland as according to Savanna-la-Mar mayor Bertel Moore, the migrating criminals are flocking to that parish.
"The state of emergency appears to be working in St James, but what it is also doing is taking criminals out of that space into our area," Moore told WESTERN STAR yesterday. "It's a situation that has proven quite deadly for the parish of Westmoreland."
Based on the latest statistics released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) over the comparative period between this year and last year, murders in St James have declined from a horrifying 322 to 96, which is being viewed as a tremendous success.
However, Westmoreland, now stands at 134, 12 of which were committed in the last three weeks.
"This is a severe concern, a very serious concern to us," said Moore. "We cannot have murders going on every day like this, and there seems to be no way to stem it as it would appear that more criminals are running to the parish at an alarming level."
With Christmas looming, Moore said he is now patiently waiting to hear from the police about what strategies will be put in place, as residents are hoping to get a respite from the killings during the festive season.
"As you should know, when it comes to this time of the year, you have more people coming into the parish and into the township," said Moore. "We had discussions with the police last week and we are to meet with them on Tuesday (today) for them to inform us of the security measures and safety plans for our shoppers and other residents."
Despite the introduction of new security measures to impact the extreme violence which has become a feature in places like Grange Hill, Little London, and Bethel Town, Westmoreland continues to bleed almost daily at the hands of marauding gunmen.
"We can't continue to have these daily killings, or sooner or later no one will want to come to Westmoreland," said Moore. "We are demanding a fix as early as possible."