Police promise residents improved services

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The police have pledged to address issues raised during a meeting on Wednesday with residents from the southern side of the island. Rodney Ellis, the Inspector in charge of D-Division, which includes Johnsons Point, Bolans and Barbuda, said the issues can be resolved immediately as the police force looks at rebuilding relationships with residents and clamping down on criminals and their activities.
The first issue relates to police not using foot patrol as part of their community policing and crime-fighting efforts. He said the officers from that division will “immediately” begin doing this to get to know the people who live in the communities. Some 50- plus residents were in attendance and they pledged to support the police as the nation saw a record of 20 killings last year and increased violence crime. The second concern residents raised was about the removal of the speed bumps from the streets and roadways last year for the visit of Cuba’s leader Raúl Castro. The residents complained that criminals can make a quick getaway when the speed bumps are not there.
Inspector Ellis said “the police are already collaborating with the Public Works department to address this.” Public Works is currently focused on putting the speed bumps back in place at other locations this week. Concern was also raised about issues of violence at Jennings Secondary School. The Youth Intervention Unit has since promised to work with the school to address this. Residents also said they want the police to stop driving at night with the emergency lights flashing on the vehicles. Residents said the lights allow thieves to time when to strike.
But Inspector Ellis said the police have found that the lights have served “to thwart more crime,” so this measure would remain in place. The senior raking officer said that the police from DDivision will be holding more meetings with residents on the south side of the country and this will support additional community policing meetings being conducted by a special group from the police force.

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