MoBay's municipal police to work longer hours
The Christmas season has already dawned, and to ensure that the recently enacted no-vending zones created in the western city are not breached during this time, the St James Municipal Corporation will be training a special batch of municipal police personnel.
According to Montego Bay's mayor, Homer Davis, when the no-vending zones were first created earlier this year, the municipal corporation was quite pleased as St James was enjoying a 100 per cent compliance rate. However, as time passed, indiscipline that plagued the area began to resurface.
"There is a little indiscipline, especially after six o'clock in the evening, and we don't have enough manpower to stretch over for longer hours, so we will be training additional municipal officers that will maintain the streets up until 9 p.m., or 10 p.m.," Davis told The Gleaner earlier this week.
"It is important that we have free public space because citizens must have free access without any vending or commercial activities taking place on the streets," continued the mayor. "We started off very well, but I realise that a little indiscipline is creeping back in, and we will be stepping on that soon because St James Street and the other designated no-vending zones will not go back to the type of lawlessness that took place there."
Mayor to seek help from St James cops
Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, has said that the responsibility of maintaining the no-vending zones in the St James municipality cannot fall solely on the municipal police and, accordingly, he says he intends to ask for greater assistance from the St James police.
"They (St James police) are assisting us somewhat, but I believe their presence can be more felt, especially when it comes to beat and foot patrol," said Davis. "I think they don't see that vending can create offences, but vending creates a multiplier effect on citizens. You can't walk freely on the sidewalk, you endanger yourself when you risk walking on the road instead, and it encourages a type of lawlessness like pickpockets."
In a bid to limit the scope for confrontation, Davis is urging vendors who have sought to breach the no-vending zones to fall back into compliance and not to peddle their wares outside of the special designated vending zones.
According to the mayor, the St James Municipal Corporation is prepared to work with any vendor in becoming registered. He said that the small fee of about $300 per month was used to assist in washing the streets and maintaining the sanitation of the city.