The Portland Police division is reporting an issue with gathering evidence from witnesses in cases. Head of the division, Superintendent Duane Wellington says these persons are unwilling to come forward with information which often leads to criminals not been charged and prosecuted. For as long as most can remember there has been fear among citizens when it comes to providing information on cases involving criminals. The fear of being known as an informer often leads to these cold cases – as officers are unable to arrest and charge an individual without evidence. Superintendent Wellington says this prevents effective policing.

“We cannot charge people without evidence – whether scientific or forensic. So that is where the police are having a challenge,” he said.” We are doing our part but for some reason best known to residents they are not willing to come forward.”

The parish of Portland has seen a reduction of 16 percent in serious and violent crimes. Thirty-eight serious and violent crimes were reported since the start of 2020 and forty-seven (47) percent have been cleared. The Superintendent says the police are, however, struggling with a case involving a recent road accident and fatal shooting in Buff Bay in the parish.

“Citizens who witnessed this accident have so far failed to give eyewitness evidence/statement and it is hampering investigations,” said the senior cop. ” Some of the shootings in Buff Bay right now is as a result of dispute which has arisen out of that accident. So I am saying to all of us who can provide support or who have any influence over Buff Bay to tell them to come forward. If you are scared tell them to come to me.”

Superintendent Wellington says this development should prompt citizens to share information with the police.

“The truth is we should not be speaking about the fear factor. We had an incident where three police officers were killed,” said Superintendent Wellington. “So are you telling us that is only police should stand for justice. I don’t believe it. There are more of us on the right side than those on the wrong side. So we need to suppress them by any means necessary that is legal.”

Superintendent Wellington was addressing the Portland Municipal corporation on the issue of crime and violence in the parish.