Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Stay away! Portland cops warn criminals seeking to make parish a haven

With an influx of individuals from the two major political parties expected to infiltrate one of two constituencies in Portland for a pending by-election, for which a date is yet to be announced, the Portland police are already sending a warning that the parish will not be a haven for criminals.

While it is too early to determine whether security concerns may arise for the parish with the pending campaign for the by-election for the Portland Eastern constituency, brought about by the tragic murder of its parliamentary representative, Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, head of the parish’s police, Superintendent Dwayne Wellington, has, however, warned migrating criminals not to venture into the area.

“We (the police) are also sending out a warning to the criminals that they should find another place for haven, not Portland. Find somewhere else to go in 2019, because if you’re here, we will be coming at you. We will be taking back our space, in terms of making this place crime-free,” Wellington stated.

He was addressing Thursday’s meeting of the Portland Municipal Corporation.

The north eastern parish boasted impressive statistics last year in relation to its apprehension of fugitives from other police divisions. At January’s monthly meeting of the corporation, the police revealed that 86 ‘fugitives’ who were avoiding prosecution for various crimes, chief among them murders, in other divisions, were apprehended in Portland.

The persons who were apprehended were wanted in police divisions such as the St Andrew North and St Andrew South divisions.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Wellington said intense operations to rid the Portland of criminals will be carried out this year.

The robust operations being undertaken in the parish, according to Superintendent Wellington, have been credited to operations officer for the division, Deputy Superintendent Beresford Williams.

“I’m happy to introduce DSP Beresford Williams as the operations officer who joined us couple weeks ago. He is the man who is responsible for the robust operations that you have seen taking place in the space,” Wellington disclosed.

He added: “You will notice that there are more police personnel in the space, and there are more operations being done in the space. So therefore, we will not give up on the fight of serving and protecting the citizens.”

Portland recorded 15 murders last year, and so far this year, two killings have been reported.

The first 2019 killing in the parish occurred on Tuesday, January 29, when 51-year-old Diana Raffington, otherwise called ‘Yvette’, of Zion Hill in the parish, was reportedly killed in the full view of her son. Her throat was slashed by one of two men who approached her house.

Four days later, the nation was rocked by the news that two-term Member of Parliament (MP) for the Portland Eastern constituency, Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, was found dead with multiple stab wounds inside his Passley Gardens house by an employee.

To date, investigators from the Major Investigative Division (MID) have not made a significant breakthrough in their probe into the politician’s gruesome killing.

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