Violence disrupts business in Spanish Town

Few shoppers in the Oasis Plaza in Spanish Town.

As tension remains high between rival gangs in sections of Spanish Town, St Catherine, business operators are feeling the effects of consumers’ fear of shopping in the old capital.

Following a series of deadly feuds between the gangsters, the most recent leading to the murder of three children on March Pen Road, tension continues to linger in the community.

Just last week, the Police High Command was forced to make a public statement after a voice note circulated threatening violence in Spanish Town upon the arrest of Andre Bryan, otherwise called “Blackman”.

“Things really slow. Normally when it comes on to month end the store is packed with over 200 customers, and now we literally have to be begging people to come in,” acting branch manager of Courts Jamaica Limited, Sheryl Harriott-Barnes, told the Jamaica Observer during a recent visit to the Oasis Plaza in Spanish Town.

“It’s all linked to the violence, and as staff members we are also fearful about coming and leaving work,” she continued.

What used to be a buzzing shopping destination years ago showed signs that it was not business as usual. Not only were a number of the rental spaces not occupied, but there were hardly any consumers traversing the mall.

“Because the Oasis Plaza is so close to March Pen Road, people are fearful about coming. People are fearful about coming to Spanish Town overall, but business operators on this Plaza are feeling the effects more,” Harriott-Barnes told the Business Observer.

Similar sentiments were shared by Yubo Lee, manager of Garden Chinese Restaurant, which has been operating in the Oasis Plaza for the last eight years.

He said this is the worst revenue decline he has seen since the restaurant began operating.

“Normally we have over 40 customers on a daily basis and that has [now] dropped below 10,” Lee said.

Owner of Real Deal Jewellers in Spanish Town, who identified himself only as Sonny, said business has been very slow over the past two weeks because of shootings in surrounding communities.

“But let’s hope it picks up with the police presence in and around the town,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police say they are maintaining a strong presence in Spanish Town in order to restore law and order to the community. Additionally, the police have asked residents in the affected communities to be aware and to share information about any illegal or suspicious activities in their area.

The law officers say this will help with their investigations into the current situation plaguing the St Catherine North Division.


  1. Can just imagine how many would love to leave but just honestly don’t have nowhere and dem wouldn’t mind the whole a dem weh a cause the problem just drop down dead suh ppl can live in peace but when most a unno same one turn round and hide dem this is what yuh haffi live wid

  2. Mi Wah know how dem allowed Fi do dis …and the answer is no one of clout lives down there and nobody inna Di leadership role give a care

  3. Well it is not the gang war why the Chinese man not getting any business, it is because the people are in fear of eating dogs.

  4. But I was reading where Assist Commish Knight says the voicenote that’s been circulating is a hoax. Ah dem misleasing info can/could get nuff innocent ppl killed.

    Mek dem war and kill off dem one anedda mek 2017 have a fresh start n rebuild.

  5. To stop the war we must remove the spoils of war! In the case of Spain it is the deep rooted extortion racket that earns more money than any Juggler. We see no effort on the part of the part of the Politicians charged with security to stem the windfall. Hence, war will continue. Spain has one of the busiest transportation hubs. If di man dem a Barbican a collect $1M per day at that minor terminal can you imagine the funds passing hands in Spanish Town??

  6. Over Spain set a way! All Saturday mi a pass through di place and down all middle Road mi coulda run up and down the way it empty!

    Di only ppl a road was di likkle gal dem, who very proudly a walk and a talk bout how dem nuh fraid….police need fi go lean up a bus shed or guh siddung inna mall food court or go round a di KFC a oasis and listen to dem likkle gal yah a talk. Cause a nuff a dem deh wid man dem who a do dem tings yah!

    And pon Sunday dem need fi go church and go look fi di mother, and aunt and granny dem who a harbour dem murdera ya and a talk bout how dem a pray for him and pose up a lock up pon a regular wid food and wen di dutiness get release hav dem at dem yard pose up comfortably!

  7. The government can easily fix this problem . What need to done all the know gang bangers Fi leave the community by force and not to return

  8. anonymous at 939pm weh di rass clart dem fi guh, stay deh weh dem born, same rass from dem mash up Tivoli criminals spread every weh, spray dem weh dem deh

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