MoBay crackdown starts today

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, May 20, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Authorities in St James, which is currently under a state of public emergency (SOE), will, according to them begin a one-week zero tolerance operation against lawlessness and disorder in the city starting today, called 'Restore Paradise, the City of Montego Bay'.

During a press conference held at the St James Municipal Corporation on Friday, it was disclosed that coming out of a high-level stakeholders' meeting held recently, a multi-agency partnership was formed to undertake the operation in the second city, aimed at restoring law and order.

Superintendent of police in charge of the St James Police Division, Vernon Ellis said the one-week operation will be entireley new to St James.”

“I wouldn't go deeply in the methodology or the nuts and bolts as to how we are going to carry out these operators, but I can say to you that you have never seen an operations like this type before in St James,” Superintendent Ellis stressed.

The multi-agency approach, he said, will mirror a task force.

“We will be using a multi-agency approach, similar to a task force approach, where we bring to bear all state agencies to look at various problems within our local space,” Superintendent Ellis stated.

“I will tell you that we have already gone ahead [and] engaged all these agencies, the Island Traffic Authority, the Transport Authority, the Ministry of Health — with specific emphasis to the public health sector, the coast guard, JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) division, NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) JPS (Jamaica Public Service Company) revenue department, NSWMA (National Solid Waste Department) and other agencies will form part of the one-week operation that will commence as of Monday,” he stated.

While Superintendent Ellis did not go into details of the planned operation, Mayor of Montego Bay Homer Davis said the crackdown will be focusing on all areas under the towns and community act, municipality act, building act and the road traffic act.

“The approach will be one of sensitising our people, one of enforcement when it becomes necessary, and one of prosecution when it becomes necessary. And so, we will be focusing on all traffic violations with the city. And that is to include stopping at intersections, stopping at stop lights, finding yourself in the grid lines, bikers not wearing the necessary gear, and outstanding tickets,” Mayor Davis advised.

Other breaches that will be targeted include failure to wear seat belts, and tints on public transport.

Additionally, Mayor Davis has proclaimed.

“I am saying to our vendors, the cat and mouse game is over ; and I have this to say to them that we are the cat, you are the mouse, the cat will catch you. So, those persons who see St James Street as an area to take over after six o'clock in the evening, Supt [Superintendent] that is something that we are going to be paying special attention [to]. Because it is not nice to see the higglers on both sides of the sidewalk and then the pedestrians now have to be fighting with the traffic … and I am saying that things like those, we are not going to tolerate it within the city,” warned a strident Mayor Davis.

Meanwhile, Mayor Davis and Superintendent Ellis, when asked by a reporter if one week is sufficient to “restore paradise”, in the city, said an assessment will be done at the end of the period.

“We will start off with one week, then we will test and adjust,” stated Superintendent Ellis, to which the mayor added “a thousand miles begins with the first step, and the first step is a week. and then we assess, regroup and still continue to move forward. I don't think one week can solve all those issues that are out there, but we will assess as we proceed.”


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