- Residents of Denham Town in Western Kingston are welcoming the presence of the security forces in their community, which was declared the second Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness on Tuesday (October 17).
- One resident, who spoke to JIS News from her shop on Albert Street, said she hopes that the operations will restore peace and unity in the community.
- There are 12 known gangs operating in Denham Town. Since 2015, there has been gang conflict between Tivoli Gardens’ Young Generation gang and the Denham Town Coalition.
Residents of Denham Town in Western Kingston are welcoming the presence of the security forces in their community, which was declared the second Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness on Tuesday (October 17).
One resident, who spoke to JIS News from her shop on Albert Street, said she hopes that the operations will restore peace and unity in the community.
“If a 60 days or 60 years them deh here, it nuh really matter; mi only want fi see the community come back together where everybody unite as one… and eat out a one pot again,” she said.
The small-business owner said the security personnel who have been deployed in the area are respectful during interactions with citizens.
“They are very nice; they talk to us nice. We don’t have any problems on this side. This is where I stay every day, because this is where my business place is… . Mi nuh really have no problems. The only thing, so far, is that the people them come out less,” she noted.
She told JIS News that she hopes that the period of operations will address challenges with street light and water.
“The only thing we want now is that they would help us to fix the street lights and help us to (address) certain things like the water that keeps on running; that would be helpful to us,” she said.
A male resident said he, too, has no problem with the presence of the security forces, as he is a law-abiding citizen. “My friends who I know, we are not lawless; so, therefore, we appreciate them,” he said.
Another resident said he hopes the operations will be able to transform the community. He is urging persons to give the process a chance.
“Inna real life, mi nah tell no lie, you see if it can make a difference, nuff people nuh have no problem ʼbout that, ʼcause everybody count when it comes to life. So you see from the Prime Minister seh him a do a good thing, mek we see wah gwaan.
“So mi want them give him a chance. Him do wah him a do fi mek we see if it can work, ʼcause we have whole heap a things a gwaan inna the community,” he told JIS News.
During the visit by JIS News, there were small groups of people on the streets. Several community shops were also open, although most residents opted to stay indoors.
Residents leaving and entering the communities were searched at the approximately 30 checkpoints that have been established.
Denham Town was declared a ZOSO under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, which was passed earlier this year in the Parliament.
The law seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives in communities where a Zone operates.
There are 12 known gangs operating in Denham Town. Since 2015, there has been gang conflict between Tivoli Gardens’ Young Generation gang and the Denham Town Coalition.
The ongoing gang feud has resulted in increased violence in the area, which directly affects the free movement of residents and is also negatively impacting economic and social activities within the community and surrounding areas.
The security operation in Denham Town is expected to last for 60 days.
Lieutenant Colonel Murphy Pryce of the Jamaica Defence Force, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Everald Linton, are jointly in charge of operations.
The boundaries of the Denham Town ZOSO are:
North – starting at the intersection of Albert Street and Greenwich Street, continue east along Greenwich Street to Metcalfe Street, then move north along Metcalfe Street to Race Course Lane, continuing east along Race Course Lane to the fence line forming the western periphery of the Golden Heights housing development, also annexing the northern and eastern sections of the said development, travelling south along paved gully and continuing to the intersection of William Street and Upper Rose Lane.
East – Starting at the intersection of William Street and Upper Rose Lane, continuing south along Rose Lane to the intersection of Beeston Street and Rose Lane.
South – Starting at the intersection of Beeston Street and Rose Lane, continuing west along Beeston Street to the intersection with Spanish Town Road.
West – Starting at the intersection of Beeston Street and Spanish Town Road, continuing north west along Spanish Town Road to the intersection of North Street and Spanish Town Road, then east on to North Street to the intersection with East Street, moving north along East Street to the corner of the perimeter wall of Denham Town Primary School, and then travelling south-westerly along the perimeter wall of the said Denham Town Primary School that abuts a line of residences, projected to along a fence line on a similar trend and ending along a section of Spanish Town Road and Albert Street in the vicinity of the Denham Town Police Station.