Sun | May 26, 2019

Fresh call to address high crime rate in Second City

Published:Tuesday | April 2, 2019 | 12:14 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The Montego Bay business community is appealing to the Government and the leadership of the security forces to move swiftly to address the high levels of lawlessness in St James.

“The chamber must once again appeal to the Government of Jamaica, as well as the security forces to immediately cauterise the current frightening criminal activities now upon us,” said Winston Lawson, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while addressing members of the local Chinese business community at the Fujian Association of Jamaica’s annual meeting on Sunday.

“We are appealing for action, not soon, because in the circumstance of life and death, soon may be too late,” said Lawson, “With each passing day, the business community’s concern with respect to wanton criminality is increasing and increasing exponentially. Indeed, it is at a level of distress.”

Lawson, who is a banker, said the current wave of crime is having a devastating impact on members of the business community, who, he said, are not naive to believe that the security forces alone can bring about a quick fix to crime and so he called for other local businesses to play their part.

Support JamaicaEye

“So, our appeal goes out to our members, as well, to the business community,” said Lawson, “For example, we can partner and support in a significant way the crime-fighting efforts of our forces through the JamaicaEye programme. That programme is the camera surveillance system spread across the island, monitored by the Government of Jamaica to assist the security forces and other authorities to respond to incidents of natural disasters, respond to criminal acts or respond to accidents.”

“So as business people, where we have a camera or cameras facing the public space we can consider registering the camera with JamaicaEye to share the feed, and there is much more we all can do for that medium-to-long-term fix for crime,” added Lawson.