Success reported on MoBay crackdown first day

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Authorities in St James, which is currently under a state of public emergency, have described yesterday's start of an all-week zero-tolerance operation against lawlessness and disorder in this city as a success.

“I really want to thank the senior superintendent (of police) for his vision in bringing us together as agencies, because together we achieved more,” stated Lennox Wallace, chief public health inspector for St James.

The operation, titled 'Restore Paradise, the City of Montego Bay', started shortly after an 8:00 am briefing at Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall.

Wallace said in the Charles Gordon Market, four food establishments were ordered closed and over $200,000 worth of meat and other food items were seized and condemned.

In the Fustic Road and Bevin Avenue areas, three meat shops and five other shops selling food items were also ordered closed.

“Some were operating without proper documents, while others were operating far below public health standards. So we would have taken the necessary actions as far as the laws are concerned,” Wallace explained.

He further disclosed that while most shops were closed yesterday because they had knowledge of the operation, the health department will not relent in getting conformity with the Public Health Act.

The Jamaica Public Service company (JPS), which has seen a loss of 19.34 per cent of the energy it produced in St James to theft, also reaped success yesterday.

According to Leroy Reid, JPS's director of distribution for the south west region, within a three-hour period during the operation in Charles Gordon Market, they had four cases that warranted arrest by law enforcement officers one for illegal bypass of an electricity meter, and the other three for illegal abstraction of electricity.

Additionally, the team removed 83 throw-ups from that area, while in the Barnett Street area and its environs the company carried out 30 routine audits.

Reid said the company will be putting in place measures to regularise the service delivered in that location.

“It is actually something that we thought about before we agreed to participate in the initiative this morning. We recognised that this is an opportunity for us to make some capital expenditure available to do some investment within that locale. So, we are currently putting together the business plan, the scope of work, and the costing to identify the funds to put in place a system to more regularise the service delivered in that location,” Reid explained.

Reid also told the Jamaica Observer that the team went into the Catherine Hall Housing Scheme where four illegal abstractions were discovered and the perpetrators warned.

Efforts to get an update on the gains made by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which had conceptualised the operation, were not successful up to press time.

Among the agencies involved in the initiative are Island Traffic Authority, Transport Authority, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Defence Force, National Environment and Planning Agency, JPS, National Water Commission, and the Lotto Scam Task Force.


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