Thu | Jul 9, 2020

Probing Portland | Guns-for-drugs trade fears

Published:Saturday | May 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr

Former-cop-now-businessman Paul Young is calling for more attention to be paid to the illicit operations of some Portland fishermen, who he suspects are involved in the drugs-for-guns trade.

According to Young, the drugs-for-guns trade is taking place in the Portland coastal areas, which are poorly patrolled since the police are without the resources to adequately secure those areas.

"The business sector is bothered by the new trend in crime in this parish," Young told The Sunday Gleaner.

"Crime is getting too close now, and Portland was never like this. My intelligence gathering, as a former cop, has indicated that the guns are coming in by sea as persons are engaged in not only the drugs-for-guns trade, but also the meat-for-guns trade.

"The evidence is clear as farmers have been losing their domestic animals in large quantities, including goats, cows, and sheep, while the carcasses are left lying around," added Young.

He said that the recent daylight robbery of three businesses in the parish by armed thugs has created fear in the minds of business operators, who are calling in the police to provide added security, especially along the various commercial strips.

 

MORE POLICE PRESENCE

 

"While we have seen a significant improvement in policing since February, it is my opinion that the police need to be more vigilant and aggressive. Police presence must be everywhere.

"My recommendation is that aggressive vehicle spot checks need to take place at night, with the police decked out in their uniforms. The borders need to be carefully monitored, and a thorough search of nightclubs and bars must be done," said Young, who was a member of the police Anti-Crime Task Force in the 1990s.

He argued that while Portlanders have been cooperating with the police and have been sharing information, better partnerships need to be established to educate residents about the importance of reporting strangers and suspicious activities.

"Criminals are finding their way into Portland in search of a safe haven. If we are not careful, the peace that we enjoy could be disrupted. But we have an advantage as Portland is one way in and one way out. With cooperation from the citizens and with proper policing, we can contain these criminals as any new person in a community is easily identified," Young added.