Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Scrap-metal thieves wreak havoc in Morant Bay

Published:Saturday | March 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM

To every cause, there is an effect. Earlier this week, I went to the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Morant Bay branch in order to conduct business.

It is a custom to see many customers in line on Mondays doing transactions from weekend sales and other forms of business, and so, I went during the lunch period with the perception that the lines would not be so crowded. I was amazed to see so many customers in line complaining about the leisureliness of the workers.

When I made an enquiry, I found out that because of an interruption with LIME cable somewhere within the parish, it affected not only the bank, but a number of other places that relied on the services of the cable giant.

My investigations revealed that a cable was damaged because of theft or vandalism. Because of the booming scrap-metal industry, culprits are stealing a variety of metals, iron, cables, copper and other valuables belonging to Government or private owners in order to sell to those who purchase.


unregulated industry


For years, there seems to have been a growing concern about an industry that is not being regulated properly. And there are a number of violators.

What can the Government, or even the private entities, do in order to correct the problem? Even though there are a number of registered scrap-metal dealers, the problem seems to becoming worse. And the above-mentioned incident is a prime example of how damaging the problems are. Most businesses in the surrounding area that relied on LIME for services were interrupted.

There are several cable providers in business, but the ones who protect their cables from theft, vandalism, or natural disaster will be the ones to stay up in business so that their customers will not be affected. Customers who depend on FLOW were not affected because the cable giant uses a different approach in securing their cables.

As a nation that is trying to achieve Vision 2030, we will not get there smoothly based on issues like these. It is up to Government, the private sector and concerned citizens to act promptly in shutting down the scrap-metal industry until preventive measures are put in place in order to prevent these recurrences.