Security Beefed Up After Robbery of Care Packages in St Mary

A member of the Joint Task Force stands guard while on patrol.
A member of the Joint Task Force stands guard while on patrol.

Security has been beefed up for social workers attached to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security after personnel came under attack and were robbed of care packages on Saturday in Enfield, St Mary.

Sections of the parish have been under a 14-day quarantine since last week Thursday.

The Ministry’s permanent secretary, Colette Roberts Risden, says she was surprised by the brazen attack, noting that residents have always been receptive to government workers in their communities.

She indicated that the incident happened as a ministry vehicle transporting care packages for distribution came under attack, resulting in four parcels being stolen.

“There was an altercation with the driver and one of the, should I say, robbers. But, the driver was not injured. Since the incident, and just to ensure the welfare of the staff, we have been working a lot closer with the JDF (Jamaica Defence Force) and the police to accompany us during the distribution exercises. I am told when you look at the stats, there has been an increase in crime in St Mary.

“The history normally shows us that whenever the ministry goes into an area, the residents, you know crime or no crime, are usually quite respectful and lookout for our officers. So you have communities that the ordinary man wouldn’t necessarily go, but our officers feel quite safe going there,” said Roberts Risden, who noted that the workers were left shaken up by the incident.

The incident has been condemned by Member of Parliament for South East St Mary, Dr Norman Dunn, and Mayor of Port Maria, Richard Creary.

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Article: Published in the Gleaner on Sunday May 10, 2020
Writer: Gareth Davis Sr