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Police chief hits streets to meet the people

  • Commissioner of Police Steven Corbishley and National Security Minister Wayne Caines in Court Street (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Police have launched a back-to-the-future bid to get police closer to the people they serve in the wake of a string of shooting incidents.

Commissioner of Police Steven Corbishley said that a walkabout held in Hamilton yesterday was part of an effort to create more engagement with the public.

He added: “I think it achieved what was sought, which was speaking to people as part of a longer-term plan that I want to put together where we’re a lot more visible, particularly with community leaders, talking to people.”

Mr Corbishley was speaking as he and Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, toured the Court Street area of the city and spoke to staff in stores and members of the public. The tour came after a total of four gun incidents in the space of 24 hours on February 3.

A 26-year-old man was shot several times near a bus stop on North Shore Road, Devonshire, between the junctions with Dock Hill and The Glebe Road, at about 2.30pm.

It is understood that the man was hit in both arms and both legs after two men on a motorcycle drove up and opened fire.

Two other firearms incidents happened in the Khyber Heights Road area of Warwick that night.

There was also an earlier report of a gun being used in the Morgan’s Road area of Warwick.

Police said it was believed that the incidents were related.

Superintendent Nicholas Pedro said last Thursday that a 17-year-old boy had been arrested in connection with the Devonshire shooting.

Mr Corbishley said the following day that three other men had been arrested in connection with the shootings and that more arrests were expected “over the next 24 to 48 hours.”

He confirmed yesterday that several more arrests were made over last weekend and added that the “primary suspects” had been released on bail as inquiries continued.

Mr Corbishley added that it was thought the shooting spate was not an indication of increased gang tension.

He said that another walkabout in the Smith’s Avenue area of Warwick had been planned for yesterday, but was cancelled due to schedule problems.

Mr Corbishley added: “We’re looking at doing some more of them in the future, so we’ll go over to Warwick at that time.”