Domestic violence choking Manchester

MANDEVILLE, Manchester ­— As Manchester continues to be haunted by domestic violence cases, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jacqueline Dillon has said that calls have got louder for an intervention centre in the south-central parish.

Down the years, Manchester has been plagued by domestic violence cases, and according to the police, is now leading nationally in domestic violence related-deaths.

“Of all the parishes Manchester is way ahead and so we thought that it is a great initiative to come into Manchester just to talk to persons about what it is that you need to do, because we are having so many deaths among family members,” said Dillon, head of the response team manning domestic violence intervention centres (DVICs) islandwide.

“There are too many incidents of domestic violence in Manchester,” she said, during an interview at Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville last Thursday.

“We are saying to people, once you have conflicts within the family. We want you to come to the police, if you are not comfortable coming to the police, go to restorative justice, go over to victim support and get some help before it becomes deadly,” she said following her presentation at a pop up session in Mandeville.

In July, DSP Dillon said a domestic violence intervention (DVI) centre was needed in Manchester against the backdrop of an increase in reported cases of domestic violence. Police sources say since the start of this year Manchester has recorded five domestic violence related deaths.

When asked if Manchester is being prioritised for the seventh DVI in the country, DSP Dillon said it is being considered.

“There is a lot of logistics around where you put a domestic violence intervention centre. You have to have police presence. Our station compound here is not ideal, because already you see, it is very cumbersome,” she said, pointing to the Mandeville police station.

“The logistics has to be worked out with the police high command on where we put a centre. I know that it is in discussion, it is about looking at an appropriate place where we can put a DVI centre, but I know that the voice and the calls for a DVI centre in Manchester has got louder, so we continue to advocate for Manchester to be the next parish that gets one,” she added.

On May 29 Constable Damien Blair was allegedly killed by his wife, Kacey-Ann Blair, 33, at the couple’s home in Somerset, Manchester.

Blair was reportedly shot inside the family home, allegedly by his wife. According to the police, Blair ran from the house but collapsed at his gate, where further wounds were reportedly inflicted with a hammer.

The Jamaica
Observer was told that Blair was found on a dirt road at his gateway, clad in only his underwear. Police said his wife was found inside the house with a laceration to her wrist. It was reported that she had barricaded herself inside a section of the house.

On March 10, an 11-year-old boy and his five-year-old cousin were left traumatised after witnessing his mother Shadae Brown, 28, being stabbed repeatedly with three knives allegedly by her spouse, Kevon Leslie, 29, despite the child’s cries for mercy, in Newport, Manchester.

On March 2, Newport resident Ricardo Williams, 21, was fatally stabbed, allegedly by a relative of his friend, over a pair of shoes during an argument in Newport.

On January 19, United Kingdom resident Michael Brown, 48, was gunned down in Mike Town where police theorised an alleged family dispute over land and houses was the motive. He was shot and killed about 12:20 am while in bed, four days after burying his 74-year-old mother. His relative Lemone Brown, 38, was charged with murder.

On January 3, a Mandeville couple was found dead in a suspected case of murder-suicide. Keith and Stephanie Ellis (both in their 40s) were found dead at their home on Bonnitto Crescent in Mandeville. The wife, a bank employee, was found with a wound to her forehead inside the house, and the husband, otherwise called Ricky, a former taxi operator, was found hanging from a scaffold at the back of the property. A police source said a crowbar, believed to be the murder weapon, was found at the scene.

Relatives told the Sunday Observer that the couple was going through a divorce.

DSP Dillion said people should not take early signs of domestic violence likely.

“It is about knowing the signs. You are having a family conflict over dead lef land, somebody needs to go and get help, so that it can be fixed, that is the first thing. You are in a relationship and there are some simple signs that are happening. Go get help, so don’t take it and say ‘oh, a love the person love you’ why is it that you are having these problems? No, once you have a cause for concern and don’t say ‘it nago happen’, because you never know what the mind of the other person is, so once the signs make you uncomfortable this is when you go for help,” she said.

DSP Dillion encouraged victims of domestic violence to contact the police’s Community Safety and Security Branch.

“… Or they can call 876-224-4274, 876-224-4275. The help is available, if you find that you are in a situation where you need the help, go get the help,” she said.