Bishop wants long-term changes in Montego Bay
Pressure has been put on criminals in St James since the zone of special operations was implemented in Mount Salem and a state of emergency called in the parish, but Anglican Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay Leon Golding is fearful that chaos might return if the Government does not tackle the real social problems.
He was speaking with The Gleaner at St Luke's Church in Cross Roads, Kingston, yesterday, at the service marking the 50th anniversary of the church building being dedicated.
"We haven't looked at what we need to counteract some of the social ills. It cannot just be providing work. Work is one thing, but people are more than just money. We need to create character. Montego Bay is still focused on tourists, where we expect whatever falls from the tables, the citizens will benefit from it. If they don't have money or someone in the hotels, then they don't see much of their culture being shown to the tourists," he said.
FAILURE TO DEVELOP YOUTH
"We are only building hotels. Our failure to develop our people has contributed to crime, violence, and squatter communities, as well as the fact that when some of the immoral things like scamming started, nobody addressed them," Golding said.
He declared support for the zone of special operations and noted also that since the state of emergency was implemented, discipline has been a noticeable feature in the Second City.
"When the state of emergency was introduced initially, I never saw discipline like the way I saw it in Montego Bay. It had a tremendous effect not just on crime and violence, but on our roads. The fear that some of us have is, if they cease to have a state of emergency, we may see a rise in crime again. We pray that doesn't happen," Golding said.