Saturday 26 September, 2020

Man who was abducted, robbed and shot three times is Bunting's driver

Peter Bunting in Parliament (file photo)

Peter Bunting in Parliament (file photo)

Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting, has revealed that a man who was abducted on December 6, dragged into a vehicle, robbed and shot before being thrown from the vehicle, is his driver.

Bunting, a former Minister of National Security, made the revelation on Tuesday as the House of Representatives debated and passed three resolutions extending by one month, several states of emergency (SOEs) across the island that are aimed at tackling the country’s worrying crime problem.

Like he has done for the past year, Bunting did not support the extension of the SOEs, arguing that they have failed to arrest crime and violence, in particular murders, which are running ahead of last year’s number.

This is despite the security measures being in force for nearly two years and now blanketing more than five parishes.

“Last Friday (December 6) someone who works with me, going home on a Friday evening, (was) pulled into a vehicle in Shortwood (upper St Andrew), interestingly,” Bunting told the House as he detailed the ordeal that was faced by the man who transports his young son to and from school daily.

Bunting noted that the driver lives in an area that is under a SOE, but works in an area that is not. Yet, “he’s pulled into a vehicle, robbed, pushed out of the vehicle that is driven further along, and shot three times,” Bunting revealed.

Despite being shot three times at close range, the driver survived.

“Fortunately, because of the skill of our doctors at KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) and the vast experience they have in dealing with gunshot (wounds), after a surgery late in the night, he’s stabilised and I saw him yesterday (Monday) at KPH,” Bunting shared.

He said the driver is himself the father of a six or seven-year-old son.

“The child (his driver’s son) is traumatised, confused, trying to figure out what is going on,” said Bunting.

He added that, “He’s just one of those shooting statistics that we have had year-to-date, one of 1,183 (up to December 7) so far this year.”

The former security minister said the crime situation “was personal for many of us. It’s not a remote thing that we are talking about”.

He stressed that it is ironic that his driver lives in an area that is under a SOE, but was shot in an area where there is none.

“You wouldn’t expect it, but what it demonstrates is the balloon effect. You pressure a particular area and the criminals just move to an area adjacent, and continue their criminal lifestyle,” Bunting stated.

He said the scenario is being replicated right across the country during the SOEs.

And his analysis of the murder statistics and the projection for the rest of the year are worrying.

“If we project the number of murders we have up to December 7 to the end of the year, this year will be the second highest year for murders since 2010.

“This is after almost two years of continual states of emergency now covering about half of the island (five parishes and a police division),” he said.

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