Crippled by crime - Plum Lane, St Andrew, begs for more police presence
Residents of Plum Lane in the St Andrew North Police Division breathed a sigh of relief at the police presence in the community on Tuesday. As of recent, their peace and safety had vanished due to the rise of violence in the area.
"When I come here, the place was so peaceful and quiet," one resident said as she lamented how things have changed. "Sometimes I am even scared to go to church too early or come back home too late. A bare gunshots day in and day out," the resident told THE STAR.
On Tuesday, the St Andrew North police led a major police operation in sections of the division. Ten patrol vehicles containing cops and dogs swarmed the communities of Cameron Lane, Whitehall Avenue, Carlisle Avenue and Plum Lane in an intense operation aimed at finding wanted men and illegal weapons.
St Andrew North sticks out like a sore thumb on the murder statistics sheet with 22 thus far, leading the other 18 police divisions. The division recorded nine murders during the corresponding period in 2019. No wonder why residents of Plum Lane and other areas were glad to see the heavy police presence on Tuesday.
"If this is a regular thing, the place will be more peaceful. Right now, with all that is happening in the place, I had to fence up my gate," a resident said.
A 32-year-old man says the violence affects all age groups - from the children to the elderly people residing in the bullet-infested community.
"People have pickney and fraid fi bring dem go school. The residents are fearful for their lives. As 5 o'clock come the people dem gone. Not even shop the people dem wah go pon the front. A bare innocent people a dead," he said warily.
"Pickney hear gunshot and start bawl. From last week me nuh go work because me fraid a di road," the 32-year-old shared.
Another resident has been living in Plum Lane for 39 years, and she has never seen the community like this. "We are in the middle of the war zone. It's the innocent people who always get caught up in everything. You have good and you have bad, but only the good feel it. We have had some problem long time, but it get worse now," she said.
"People are living in fear. I have to leave here to go to work before 5 o'clock in the mornings, and I have to be on the lookout ... this is serious."