Letters to the Editor

Clear the police vehicles now!

Friday, December 15, 2017

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Dear Editor,

“While Nero sleeps, Rome burns.”

The Government of Jamaica imported 66 used motor vehicles for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); however, to date the vehicles are still lying on the wharf awaiting clearance.

I am told that the Ministry of National Security applied for a waiver of General Consumption Tax (GCT), which was not granted by the Government for reasons I can't see.

Crime and violence is on the increase while the vehicles are on the wharf, and no one knows when they will be cleared and handed over to the police.

The country should not be left in this precarious position.

First, we had a situation where the vehicles were awaiting a waiver of GCT from the Government. I find it very strange that crime and violence is out of control while the Government refuses to grant a waiver of GCT. The country is now facing a crisis as the JCF's fleet is badly depleted. The minister of national security had promised that the JCF and the country would have the vehicles for Christmas. The Government needs to inform the public why the country is in its present predicament.

Now, there is no way, today being December 15, 2017, that the vehicles can be on the road as:

1) Parts may need to be sourced and replaced.

2) Repairs might have to be done on some of the vehicles.

3) Some will have to be marked and numbered for identification purposes.

This is the first time in the history of the JCF that equipment for their use in their crime-fighting effort has spent so much time languishing on the wharves. If it were a private importer, he would have run the risk of the goods being considered forfeited, and thereafter auctioned. The country needs to know when the vehicles are going to be cleared and handed over to the JCF.

If the Ministry of National Security cannot clear these vehicles in short order, taking into consideration the accrual of daily storage per vehicle and other charges, then I think the minister of national security should resign.

There is a procedure that should be followed as it relates to the importation of a motor vehicle. All the necessary requirements should be met before the vehicles actually arrive in the island unless a waiver is granted.

Taking into consideration the facts as they are, I think the Government should appoint a task force with immediate effect to have these vehicles removed from the wharf forthwith.

Several people have lost their lives due to the fact that the police are not able to respond expeditiously to calls for help. This is a fact!

It is to be remembered that a bond is posted to cover any eventuality, and the bond can be called by the minister of national security.

Joseph M Cornwall Sr, JP

Managing director /CEO

House of Tranquillity Funeral Home Limited

tranquillityfh@yahoo. com

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