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Newlands residents in Portmore block roads in protest

Superintendent Leighton Grey, head of Operations for the St. Catherine South Division
 
Residents of Newlands in Portmore, St. Catherine mounted fiery roadblocks in the community on Thursday morning.
 
However, the blockades, which were at three locations along the main road, were unmanned and residents were tightlipped on the reason for their protest.
 
The police say they were eventually able to get from the residents the reason for their discontent.
 
Superintendent Leighton Grey, head of Operations for the St. Catherine South Division, explained that the residents' disquiet has stemmed from the police increasing their presence in the community in search of wanted men. 
 
According to Superintendent Grey, they believe the police are using a heavy-handed approach and they are being treated unfairly.
 
As part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's 90-day murders and shootings reduction plan, the police have been targeting wanted men who are members of the Umbrella gang.
 
Superintendent Grey said the police have received information that the reputed leader of the gang, Orane Baldie, who is incarcerated, was the instigator of Thursday morning's protest.
 
He said the fires have been extinguished and assistance will be sought from the Portmore Municipal Corporation to remove the debris.
 
According to Superintendent Grey, for the St. Catherine South Division, the 90-day murders and shootings reduction plan involves monitoring all communities where wanted persons are known to be.
 
He said a gun was seized in the community last week during the pursuit of a wanted man who escaped.
 


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