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Mandeville crackdown! - Mayor threatens to punish those who breach public order in municipality

Published:Tuesday | February 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Donovan Mitchell, mayor of Mandeville.
Delivery trucks, pedestrians and other motorists compete for space in the town.
This woman is displaying her wares for sale in Mandeville under a sign prohibiting vending in the area.
Competition for space in the town.

Adamant that public order must be restored to Mandeville, Mayor Donovan Mitchell has warned that commuters, particularly vendors and other business people, who create chaos in the town will soon be punished.

Mitchell was among a group of Mandeville stakeholders participating in a recent Gleaner Municipal Corporation Forum at the Golf View Hotel discussing the municipal corporation's growth agenda, which should coincide with Prime Minister Andrew Holness' national growth agenda.

Civic pride was cited as being lacking among the people, and the forum was told that the police would be working closer with the municipality to better enforce laws.

"To restore order in any place, you have to have civic pride. You can't just drop garbage every and anywhere. You cannot put your goods out any and everywhere. We have to make sure that persons understand that there is a consequence for selling any and everywhere."

There is collaboration in the town between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the municipal police to get public order. However, the results have been less than satisfactory because of the lack of adequate JCF personnel assigned to the town and the powerlessness of the municipal police.

Mitchell vowed that efficiency would be increased.

"If there is nothing (else) that is done, the town centre of Mandeville must come back to a place where people want to come. We have cooperation with the police. We have three officers currently that are assigned to the municipal corporation, (and) we have a municipal police department, but the powers that they have are limited. I have been given a commitment from the area commissioner, the superintendent of the parish, that they are fully on board and [they have asked that we] give them a little more time to put all the paper work and everything in order."

The mayor highlighted plans to actively include business people in beautifying Mandeville and ridding the streets of garbage.

"We are going to be having some discussions with the business people in putting up garbage bins, some nice mesh ones, and we are going to have a roving team that will go out during the course of the day, make sure that garbage is collected."

He said he would use the legal channels to put the brakes on delivery trucks that operated at will and created traffic congestion dropping off goods at different times of the day.

"There is a law that speaks to the time when business persons receive goods, and we are going to be implementing that law. It can't be that in one day, 10 trucks back up at one supermarket, holding up the traffic in the town centre. Business persons will have to understand that it is either they develop an area that trucks can offload at the back of the premises or somewhere. It cannot be in the town centre," the mayor said.