By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Police have made some 325 arrests as a result of the crackdown on quality-of-life offences, which began three weeks ago, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, deputy OC of Eastern Division, said this week.
According to Broaster the crackdown on bicycle offences, loitering and public drinking has been yielding positive results.
Police intelligence indicates that scouts for gangs loiter at street corners and ride around on bicycles to recruit youngsters who are pressed into gang service to commit murders and crimes, including shootings.
Enforcement of the quality-of-life laws has led to a lull in shootings across the city, Broaster said. He indicated that the Police Department would continue to enforce these laws.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure that citizens can move about this city safely and freely without being harmed,” Broaster said.
Broaster encouraged citizens to continue to cooperate with the police department and to call the police if they have information about guns or drugs being stashed.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Desiree Phillips, the Officer Commanding Eastern Division, added even police officers who contravene the quality-of-life laws would be penalized and dealt with in the courts.
Senior Superintendent Alford Grinage, OC Precinct Two, disclosed that the public has been responding to the crackdown by getting bells and lights for their bikes, but some people are not buring the right lights. Bicycles should be equipped with a single, fixed white light on the handle of the bike.
Grinage admitted that the department could have done more to alert and notify the public on the requirements of the laws before launching an abrupt crackdown on a set of laws that haven’t been enforced for some time. He added that the laws have always been there and the police department is now trying to ensure that the laws are followed.
Grinage noted that cyclists who frequently train for races on the highway are also required to abide by these laws. They need to have a bell and light fixed to their bicycles. He added that cyclists on the road would also be monitored by the police.