MoBay Residents Gripped with Fear following Upsurge in Criminality

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Residents in Montego Bay, St James, are this afternoon, pleading with the authorities for an intervention to address the rampant criminality in their communities.

A resident of Norwood in the parish, told our News Center this afternoon, that marauding gunmen, armed with high powered weapons, are operating without fear of the security forces.

The resident told Nationwide News that the people of Montego Bay are living in fear and begged us not to record the comments.

So we asked our Presenter Patria Kaye Aarons to voice the resident’s comments. The resident of Norwood, says while the security forces maintain a strong presence in Montego Bay, there is still what is being described as a ‘war thing’.

The resident says just last night a man was gunned down in close proximity to where soldiers were conducting their operations.

The resident says the people are afraid to speak out against the criminals, because they may become the next victims.

The frustrated resident says the criminals have sophisticated technology and high powered weapons.

Yesterday, Commanding Officer for St. James, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, told Nationwide News that criminal suspects who the Police were forced to release at the end of the State of Public Emergency, have contributed to an 82-per cent increase in murders in the parish this year compared to last year. He also said perpetrators of violent crime who fled St. James during the enhanced security measure have also contributed to the spike in murders. But the resident said the criminals had not left the parish.

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Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.


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