Saturday 15 June, 2019

Monday kick off for massive public order campaign in Montego Bay

Superintendent Vernon Ellis (left), commanding officer of the St James Police Division, greets Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis, at a meeting last Friday ahead of Monday's multi-agency clampdown on public disorder in Montego Bay, St James.

Superintendent Vernon Ellis (left), commanding officer of the St James Police Division, greets Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis, at a meeting last Friday ahead of Monday's multi-agency clampdown on public disorder in Montego Bay, St James.

The St James police and the St James Municipal Corporation have launched a campaign, in partnership with several other agencies and entities, to restore public order in the city of Montego Bay.

Dubbed ‘Restore Paradise, the City of Montego Bay’, the campaign is scheduled to kick off on Monday.

The initiative is to last for one week, based on the existing planning.

Speaking at a press launch on Friday, Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis, explained that stemming from a multi-agency meeting, it was decided that the time had come to implement a programme to penalise public order offenders within the city.

Davis outlined that the operation is to be directed at offenders for breaches of the Road Traffic Act, the Municipality Act, the Town and Community Act, and the Building Act.

Head of the St James Police Division, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, explained that several agencies and entities, including the public health department, the Transport Authority, the National Environment and Planning Agency, the Coast Guard and Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), will be involved in the operations.

"We have never seen an operation like this type in St James," Superintendent Ellis said.

Davis stressed that illegal vending, which he deemed to be a major contributor to the chaos in the city, will be one of the main targets of the week-long campaign.

File photo of a major police public order operation.

"That is something we are going to pay special attention to, because it is not nice to see you driving down St James Street (and) the vendors are on both sidewalks, and then the pedestrians have to be fighting the traffic (on the roadway). And you think is a problem down there, but it's just pedestrians fighting to move their way through the traffic. And I am saying things like those I am not going to tolerate," the mayor declared.

He added that indiscipline among motorists will also be targeted.

“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 within 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 safety gear, and outstanding tickets,” Davis outlined.

"We will be looking at the whole certification as it relates to public health certification, as it relates to contracts with the National Solid Waste Management Authority to remove garbage," he added.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: