Fri | Oct 23, 2020

Police commissioner expected to make statement on incident in which police vehicle was vandalised

Published:Sunday | September 27, 2020 | 5:36 PMCarl Gilchirst/Gleaner Writer
A section of the damaged police service vehicle taken from a video posted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force on Twitter. In this picture, the left back passenger window has been smashed in.

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, is expected to make a statement on an incident that led to a police service vehicle being vandalised by party goers in St Ann last night. 

A police vehicle, an Isuzu pickup truck, was allegedly damaged by persons who became upset that the lawmen had come to stop the event. 

In a thread from its Twitter handle, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF),  this afternoon, said an investigation has been launched into the incident. 

The police say about 9:30 p.m., a police team was on patrol in the community when they observed what appeared to be a party in progress in breach of both the Disaster Risk Management Act and Noise Abatement Act. When they arrived at the location where the event was taking place, the lawmen parked their service vehicle along the main road and, because of the terrain, proceeded to walk to the venue.

At the venue, they ordered that the music be turned off and warned patrons to go home. A man, who was later identified as the promoter of the event, became boisterous and insisted that the party would not end. When the police attempted to arrest him, he fled to a nearby yard, where the police proceeded to take him into custody.

While the promoter was being arrested, a group of angry patrons who were leaving the event descended on the police vehicle, hurling rocks and other missiles into the windscreen and other windows, as well as slashing the tires the police allege. The damaged vehicle was taken by wrecker to the police station.

It is unclear if anyone was hurt during the altercation.

Parry Town- a hotbed 

Parry Town has become a crime hot spot in recent years, accounting for several murders in the parish.  

Councillor for the Beecher Town division, which includes Parry Town, Ian Bell, said he was alerted some time before 11:00 p.m. Saturday night about the incident.  

Bell said the police informed him that they had gone to serve a cease and desist order on the operator of the party. The police subsequently came under attack, and their service vehicle was badly damaged. Bell said he was told that reinforcement, including soldiers, were called in and a wrecker took the damaged police vehicle back to the Ocho Rios Police Station. 

“It is really an unfortunate situation. This behaviour should not be condoned in any aspect of life. Worse, it was during the curfew hours,” Bell said.    

A national curfew, from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., has been in place as part of restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19; while no more than 15 people are allowed at events in the orders set out under the Disaster Risk Management Act. 

A spokesperson from the Corporate Communications Unit of the JCF told The Gleaner today that a statement was being prepared and the commissioner would speak on the issue later today. 

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