Monday 15 October, 2018

Crime killing sales for Spanish Town businesses

Some business and transport operators in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, are lamenting the slow pace of business, with just weeks to go before the Christmas holidays.

They blame the low sales on the violence and extortion racket that, according to one businessman “are daily features” of Spanish Town and its environs. “Is a whole heap a things a gwaan everyday. Dem kill people everyday but it not making the news,” said the concerned businessman.

 One bus driver who plies the Linstead to Spanish Town route told Loop News that it appears some commuters are avoiding the bus park all together. 

“I have been driving for nearly 25 years and it’s the worse I see it,” John Daley (not his real name) said.  “The police them can’t manage this, is the army them must call out,” said the driver while pointing to the gun slaying of a fellow driver about two weeks ago.

The driver, who plied the Spanish Town to Mandeville route, was shot and killed as he stood outside his vehicle, inside the bus park.

Concern is now heightened among persons doing business inside and outside the bus park, the epicentre of a long-running extortion racket. The violence is fuelled by the notorious Klansman gang whose members have been battling each other for control of the extortion money.

 With even street side vendors feeling the pinch, the common cry among those who would speak is that "enough is enough". 

“Nutten nah gwaan. The man them mash up the town with them almshouse,” said one woman who sells ground provisions. Another said she ventures out each day, fearful that she may get caught in a crossfire.  She said:  “Dem nuh fraid a di police dem. Look how much police inna the town and the man dem still a kill people.”

 Persons doing business in Spanish Town have acknowledged that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of police personnel inside and outside the bus park, and throughout the streets of the old capital generally over the past two months.  

However, they lament that as soon as the police turn their backs, somebody gets shot.

Still, they are hoping the police will get a handle on things and that business will pick up in the coming days.