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Increased daylight robberies in Manchester, police say


MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Police here are reporting that of the seven categories of serious crimes, robbery is up by 21 per cent in this south-central parish with migrant criminals carrying out daylight robberies due to the present curfew measures.

Deputy superintendent of police in charge of operations, Lloyd Darby said an increase in robberies is of great concern to the police.

“The category of robbery continues to be of concern for us. It is the only category that we are up by five [21 per cent] to twenty-eight this year, compared to 23 this time last year. We continue our efforts and strategies to combat and keep at a tolerable rate this category of crime,” he told last Thursday’s sitting of the local municipality.

“We just want to inform you that we are seeing a difference in when robbers strike, which fluctuates according to the curfew times because crimes need an opportunity, and when people are on lockdown the opportunity decreases,” he said.

“We are seeing some morning robberies — of vehicles and establishments. We have to be changing our strategies to try and combat this category of crime,” he added.

Meanwhile, head of the Manchester Police, Superintendent Gary Francis is encouraging victims of robbery and other crimes to report the incidents to the police.

This follows a tweet on Thursday which created panic after it was said that a ‘serial robber’ was targeting people who use the automated banking machines (ABMs) at a bank on Perth Road.

The Jamaica Observer spoke with the Twitter user who said he was targeted by a man twice who demanded money.

“It happened to me three weeks ago. I was walking out of [the bank] with a friend of mine. We were leaving the ABM and he [accused man] saw me with my phone in hand. He approached me and looked at me head to toe and was reaching to the back of his shirt and said ‘Yu nuh have something to give mi,’ and my friend saw the whole thing and grabbed me,” the man told the Observer.

He said that fortunately he was able to escape the robbery attempt by getting into a car which sped off.

He said the same man tried to rob him last year in the same vicinity and went further to say his friend was on Thursday followed by the man, who showed a knife.

He said his friend created a scene in a nearby restaurant which the man had reportedly followed him into, resulting in the man fleeing.

Up to the time of the interview on Friday no report was made in relation to the incident to the police.

However, Superintendent Francis said there has been increased police presence in the town of Mandeville and its environs.

He also disclosed that the police were following strong leads into armed robberies carried out in Manchester by gunmen from other parishes.

In relation to the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) DSP Darby said there has been compliance from citizens, with only seven people being prosecuted over the last two weekends of lockdown.

“We hope that this compliance will continue into [this] weekend. The first weekend we charged three people and the [second] weekend, we charged four people. While we see a reduction in illegal events, two of these people charged were at such events. The others were in drinking establishments, after they should have been home [around 9:00 pm],” said Darby.

“We continue to see a decrease in serious crimes this year in comparison to the corresponding period last year,” he added.

There is a 41 per cent reduction in murder and aggravated assault, with the categories each recording seven cases since the start of the year in comparison to twelve for the corresponding period last year.

Shootings (eight), reported cases of rape (three) and larceny (two) are the same for the corresponding periods.

Break-ins are down by 25 per cent, with 29 recorded so far this year compared to 39 at this time last year.

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