7pm by the Office Centre building (the old National Security Ministry office) the victim was waiting for a friend who he had made arrangements; the area is dotted with almond trees and tends to block the overhead security lights and the nearby street lights the young man also thought that since the area is populated given the nearby Digicel headquarters with active nightlife plus the construction work of the nearby old Pegasus hotel building and Pirate’s Cove things such as this may not happen and is also friendly with some of the homeless gays/trans who traverse the area on a regular. He was approached by one of the guys who he knew from a previous party he had seen him at and therefore never assumed he would not be a threat who demanded his phone and headset.
The victim refused at first to accede to the demand thinking it was a joke but soon realised he was not in any comedy as another man who reportedly recently came from jail joined dint he robbery attempt, both drew knives and proceeded to tell the man that more robberies will take place as no one is helping them and that persons take them for fools or softies. He was told not to make any noise as one held the knife at his face while relieving him of the instrument along with the headset and cash amounting to $2000. The other ‘banger’ phone the man had was not taken apparently as the robbers saw no value in that. His bag he had on him was also searched and a backup battery for the device was also taken. The nervous man tried to ask why but was told to shut up according to his report and the robbers proceeded to tell him again that others will be robbed if they make their way downtown or otherwise.
The frightened young man was left alone after the ordeal and he ended up using the banger to make a call to his intended party for the meeting explaining his dilemma; they subsequently met somewhere else where he was assisted with some cash, the matter was not reported to the police as at the time of this entry being prepared but he was encouraged to do so, the safety and tracking features were not activated which only makes any attempts to locate and possibly retrieve the device almost futile as there is not trace to guide such efforts. It also in June of this year that another robbery took place on the waterfront; and the same characters are suspected to be involved, despite the fact that the police station sits right beside the craft market and the Digicel head office.
Challenges continue to abound as homelessness that has been left to languish continues just so with piecemeal interventions, feedings and such with falsified presentations on social media giving the impression that all is well or it is being addressed. New Kingston has been slowly heating up as well with everything from clashes with newer female commercial sex workers to shootings to robberies and clashes with members of the public with one unconfirmed stabbing matter in June. In May also a matter came up for mention in the St Andrew parish court involving another phone robbery matter involving a vendor on Orange street where it turned out that the vendor was no vendor and that others who were in cahoots with the crime were implicated, the court heard that on April 6 the complainant a man was walking on Orange Street when he was approached by the alleged vendor by falsely accusing the victim (the complainant) of all people of stealing his phone, in the deceptive switch-a-roo strategy two others joined in to supposedly quell the matter by taking the victim’s phone and handing it to the accused, experienced judge Judith Pusey is not one to tolerate such matters and is used to gays in her courtroom accused of all kinds of crimes and deception and she would have none of it.
Pusey asked the accused if his phone was stolen they why did not he report the matter to which he answered he did not think about it at the time. The matter was held over on May 2 and subsequently the accused was found guilty. Turned out he was member of the homeless group in downtown not reached by the aforementioned piecemeal initiatives by some. Sad that after near forty years of some kind of organised LGBT advocacy and such with hard evidence of outcomes from stigma and discrimination leading to homelessness no sensible response is yet to come from the agencies so able to do simply refusing to act but find it necessary to just keep the populations just hanging.
Montego Bay and other parishes is also having their fair share of challenges as numbers increase and the age cohort becoming ever so younger. What is next?
Peace & tolerance