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Westmoreland stakeholders are hoping that a raft of plans in place to restore peace to the embattled parish will bear immediate fruit, following talks last week with National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang.

A 48-hour curfew was imposed in sections of the troubled Savanna-la-Mar area on Friday evening.

“I am very happy for the meeting, but I don’t get the impression that the plans that are going to be coming are immediate solutions. They are more future than for present,” Hartley Perrin, the custos of the parish told The Sunday Gleaner following the talks with Chang last Thursday.

Westmoreland
Hartley Perrin

Chang had announced that 40 specialised police officers would be deployed to the division to help stem the wanton killings. He also said that three new police stations would be built – one in Little London, another in Frome, and a new divisional headquarters in the outskirts of the parish capital in Llandilo.

“I had expected that perhaps the minister was going to say Westmoreland is going to become a zone of special operations or something like that,” Perrin said, referencing a security initiative the Government has paired with social-intervention strategies to tackle rampant crime in certain communities.

“While I don’t have the answers to all that is happening, I would hope to see some measure of control because we just can’t continue like this. Too much blood is being spilt and it overshadows everything else,” Perrin noted.

Community leader and pastor of the Ark of the Covenant Holy Trinity in Savanna-la-Mar, Bishop O’Neil Russell, agreed with Perrin that a stronger, more immediate pushback against crime was needed.

“Yes, there are a lot of plans on paper, but we want immediate action,” Russell declared. “I don’t see where they have a plan to bring a special operation or a plan to have a police post in these troubled areas. It is too long, we need immediate action to curtail the situation,” he continued.

Gov’t urged to step up crime fight in Westmoreland  Jamaica Gleaner


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