Central Kingston rivals to hold peace talks
Rival men in the Kingston Central Police Division could sit down with each other for peace talks as early as this week.
Police commissioner Major General Antony Anderson said that the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) that was recently declared in Parade Gardens has brought respite for residents. He also said that the creation of a peace in the community appears to be under way.
"We are also seeing signs of former rivals willing to come to speak to each other, when facilitated by us," Anderson said.
The police chief was speaking during a virtual press conference at which Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that a ZOSO has been declared in the southern Savanna-la-Mar area of Westmoreland.
Head of the Kingston Central Police Division, Superintendent Berrisford Williams, said that the facilitation of peace talks does not mean the police will be hugging up criminals.
"In the absence of evidence to charge, and to continue to facilitate evidence to charge even at a later date, it would be in everybody's interest to have the place running peacefully -- getting away from the gunfire and the fear of crime.
Our interest is to stop both, it doesn't mean that we do not still continue our investigation into these guys, and their activities. So if at a later date, if evidence supports itself, we will charge them," he said.
"They want to make peace arrangement and we are going to meet with them to facilitate that," the senior cop said.
Commissioner Anderson said that 16 of the 18 persons of interest who were taken into custody after the ZOSO was declared in Parade Gardens have been released. The other two remain in custody.
"These are guys that we think -- based on our information -- are pretty involved into what is happening, and some of these are guys that we would have called in for interview. What we don't have, which is why some are released and are on the road, is the direct evidence to charge them for any specific crime, even though we have information," he added.
Meanwhile, young men in the blood-soaked community yesterday played football in the streets of Tel Aviv. Williams said he was aware of the recreational activities, linking it to the imposition of the ZOSO.
"l know the declaration of the ZOSO will have a lot to do with that and during the few days, the peace and quiet have been enjoyed by the residents, and they want it to continue. A lot of persons are buying into that because they can now move about freely in the space without fear of walking into an attack," he said.