Employees of businesses along Half-Way-Tree Road, St Andrew, in the vicinity of the Kencot gully, are pleading with the Government to remove homeless homosexual men who occupy the gully.
A group of about 20 men, some of whom migrated from the Shoemaker Gully, have been nothing but a nuisance for about two years, business operators in the area Explained.
When the Sunday Observer visited the area the men were not on the road. However, workers from different businesses spoke with our news team about the problems that the men are causing.
One employee related an event that happened around 2:00 one morning. According to her, a man was robbed of two cellular phones, and when the men attempted to take his money, he ran and sought refuge at a nearby hospital.
“There was an incident with a gentleman and the police came. But the police were more interested in the fact that the door was closed. But it's a private hospital; we don't have security.
We're not financed by the Government any at all and we have no armed guards to protect us. These guys, dem nuh 'fraid a nobody and if the door did open dem woulda run him down in there,” the employee said.
Although that robbery occurred at an odd hour, workers in the area said that the men attempt robberies at any time in the day. They are also concerned about the frequency of these incidents and are pleading with the Government to step in and do something.
“Whatever they did to get them from
New Kingston has to be done down here to get them out. Persons are in danger. Persons are afraid to walk at nights. They have to wait on somebody to walk go down the road. When they rob you here, and the premises on the road out there, and jump in that gully, that's it,” a worker said
She added that people do not want to risk going in after them as the men are aggressive and they fear for their lives.
Although customers expressed their annoyance with the men to business entities, the incidents do not negatively impact the customer flow at businesses in the vicinity. A woman who works in a restaurant in the area states that customers are displeased with their presence but they still support the business.
“We sell them because it's a business. We just don't want them to sit in here and have lunch because that upset di other customers dem. The vegetable sauce weh we put out, we don't allow dem fi touch it. We woulda just put it on it for them. Other than that we nuh really have a problem.
“Customer have a problem when dem come in. Some will stand outside till dem finish and then come in. You have others who will just stand to the corner. Dem ever have dem money. When dem a come and flip out money, me and you nuh have dat amount. Dem rob people, but I don't know if a 'cause dem used to us or wah, but dem kinda protect us like. Because if we have an incident and we say it to another one, memba enuh, him a go rough dat deh one,” she continued.
Many people expressed their discontent with the men in the area and the fear and intimidation that they cause. A common concern among those who work in the area is that the police are not trying hard enough to get rid of them from the gully. They said that police personnel respond to incident reports, but they want them to work on removing the men permanently.