MONTEGO BAY, St James — Acting police chief for St James, Superintendent Eron Samuels, wants to see more facilities for the parish’s homeless. The recent murders of five people who lived on the streets of Montego Bay, he said, has clearly highlighted the need.
“It puts into focus that we still need to expand the facilities for homeless persons in the parish,” said Samuels.
At least five homeless people were killed in the western city over a three-month period. Samuels believes their exposure to the elements put them at risk and he is afraid there will be copy cats.
“This is something that I believe that the opportunity creates itself, for persons who have that sort of tendency. When you have so many homeless persons on the street every day, they can try to probably mimic that act again,” he explained.
He was speaking at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation.
His comments came a day after 25-year-old Ronaldo Ricketts, who the police said has confessed to four of the killings, appeared in court on an unrelated charge.
Ricketts was nabbed by the police after they answered a woman’s screams on August 30. It is alleged that he posed as taxi driver and then attempted to rape her. He will be back in court on November 9 to answer to rape charges. He is scheduled to answer to the murder charges on September 20.
During Thursday’s meeting, Samuels said he and his team had been quietly investigating the killings that occurred between this June and August.
“We tried to kind of keep it down based on the trends that we recognised because we never wanted to create public panic about persons going and killing homeless persons within the parish,” he explained.
“We did some serious work on this, we actually set up a task force that dealt with it,” he divulged.