Cops focused on safety for back-to-school shoppers
Divisional commanders in two of the island's major towns have said that there will be an increased number of police personnel on the streets this weekend as the rush associated with back-to-school shopping enters its final stage.
Head of the Kingston Central Police Division, Superintendent Berrisford Williams, said that his officers were fully aware of the traditional hotspots in the downtown Kingston area and will be keen to apprehend any individuals attempting to create mayhem.
"As per usual, we are going to cut down on administrative activities to increase police presence in the space. We know some of the usual hotspots so we are just going to occupy them more especially over the weekend. We are confident of carrying out duties and so I want to assure the public that the police will be present to ensure law and order as you go about your shopping," Williams said.
His sentiments were echoed by Deputy Superintendent Eron Samuels, the operations officer for the St James Police Division. He also told THE WEEKEND STAR that plans are being put in place to ensure law and order beyond the weekend.
"We are putting things in place for next week. We know the areas that we need to man, we know the resources that we are trying to acquire and, hopefully, things will be smooth," he said.
The news will almost certainly come as a major confidence booster for consumers, who are often targeted by criminals at this time of the year while they conduct last-minute shopping for their children.
According to one parent, the increased presence of police personnel in the streets has made shopping easier for her this year.
"A three times mi get hold up a buy things fi back-to-school. It happened to mi two times downtown, one inna bookstore and the other pon Princess Street when mi a buy tights, panty and dem things deh. Then next time mi deh Half-Way Tree and a man just pull up pon mi inna Clock Tower after him a trail me from the ATM machine. So mi glad fi a see the police officer dem, at least me feel a little bit safer a buy," the parent said.
According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, there have been 600 reports of robbery across the island between January 1 to August 29.