Residents aim to be beacons of hope despite No Man’s Land crime stigma Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Just the mention of the name is enough to strike fear into the hearts of residents living in and around Kingston.

The 40 acres of land is popularly called ‘No Man’s Land near Rema in south St Andrew in the Western Kingston police division.

For several years local authorities have been trying to implement programmes to eradicate the crime problem that has led to multiple deaths and the end of several lifelong dreams.

Checks have shown that after several trial-and-error attempts, the violent upsurge and the frequent tit-for-tat attacks that once made the strip of land an area where even the bravest once feared to walk, have been brought under control.

The gunshots have died down by the crime stigma still lingers.

Despite this setback, residents, who live in and around the area have been lifting their heads and trying to lead by example not only in their actions but their attitude to show that their community still has a lot of positive stories to share.

The Loop News team took a visit to the area to speak to some of the local citizens who have been leading by example.

Damion English, a 26-year-old football player and cousin of former Reggae Boy, the late, Irvino “Dada” English is one of those people.

Now making a living as a Forklift operator, the young man lives on Livington Street, just metres from No Man’s Land and he admits that the stigma that hangs over the area has made life difficult.

He is adamant that he will not allow this negative perception to affect his quest to uplift himself.

“The stigma that hangs over the area, does cause people to judge citizens in a particular way, but it is always my aim to live my life in a way that others can be proud,” said English.

Winsom Donaldson, a 47-year-old vendor who also lives in the area shared the same view.

Because of this violence, I lost a son but I continue to hold my head up high and try to make a difference in whatever way I can,” said Donaldson.

In 2019 the Government announced plans to build the country’s first multi-purpose police headquarters on 40 acres of land popularly called ‘No Man’s Land’ near Rema in south St Andrew in the Western Kingston police division.

The revelation was made by National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang as he opened the 2019-2020 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives

“This empty piece of land in the middle of an area of social conflict, in fact political conflict at times, could be seen as an area of despair, where the police were once viewed as oppressive (but) will now become a beacon of hope for the people of the area,” the minister had said.

Peter Leng who also lives and operates a business in which he sells cooking gas said operating a business has been a challenging task.

“The challenge to continue operating has been a rough one, there are times when things are up and downs but he continues to push forward.

Trevor Watson, a 55-year-old Technician has been living in Trench Town for years and he is adamant that all is not lost.

“I have been in the area for a while I have been through the struggle but in my own small way I try to lead by example,” said Watson.