- Police Commander commits to swift action
Residents of Linden are concerned about the recent upsurge in gang violence in the town that has left several youths victims of chop wounds and other grievous injuries. During a visit to the town on Saturday, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips, was met with concerns from residents about recent gang related incidents as well as allegations of police collusion and lack of interest in protecting victims.
The gang, popularly known as the MOB or the ‘Cayanne’ gang has been fingered in several violent and drug related incidents over the years. In 2019 there was a peak in gang related violence in Linden which led to the execution of Ian Williams called OJ, in Amelia’s Ward. The shooting was believed to be the result of an ongoing drug related feud between the gang and Lindener Teon Alleyne who is currently incarcerated.
In the presence of senior police officers, one particular resident was emotional in describing a recent chopping incident that took place in Wisroc, which resulted in her 19-year-old son being chopped about his body. This was followed by another incident occurring in Victory Valley. “Mr. Prime Minister there is a gang in Linden that controls Linden by the name of MOB………..controlling the drug trade and everything in Linden,” she said before explaining what transpired. She alleged that gang members ran into her home and chopped her son. Seven other young men where allegedly attacked. She was further forced to protect him at the hospital after receiving threats and allegedly not getting the support from the police. “Right now my life is in threat, I tried to make contact with the police and the police ain’t helping me, if they can be brave to chop eight young men, who looking out for we? There is no body ain’t looking out for we and they going in the house,” she said.
Prior to the Prime Minister’s visit, several residents had taken to social media in December to express their concern over gang violence. Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira in a Facebook post said, “The upsurge use of illicit drugs (molly) and gang violence within the Linden community is most concerning, particularly among our young people and the use of cutlasses as the weapon of choice. The brazenness of these violent acts being committed in view of the public in different communities across Linden has to be dealt with condignly and stopped. The elected official made public calls to the regional police command, to deal with these issues seriously. “I therefore call on him to look into these serious allegations and do that which is required to prevent a potential upsurge of retaliation of vigilante justice and more criminal acts to spiral out of control.”
In an invited comment, Commander for Region 10 Hugh Winter, said no formal report was made about the incidents that occurred and now that he is cognizant of what transpired, all efforts will be made to investigate the matter objectively. On Monday morning, he met with the resident who made the public complaint and committed to a swift investigation. He related that in these cases the police would have difficulty in getting persons to come forward with information to make an arrest. Meanwhile other residents have expressed the need for more job creation measures to be instituted in the town as a solution to delinquency among youths.