Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Police wrecker robbery?

Published:Thursday | January 4, 2018 | 12:17 AM


A light truck I own was involved in an accident in Papine recently. A bike got out of control and ran up into the side of the vehicle. As there was serious injury to the bike rider, the police took the vehicle on a wrecker to Matilda’s Corner Police Station (about two miles away) for inspection as a part of the investigation. When I went to the station to get the truck a few days later, I was presented with a bill for $22,000 from Jamaica Wrecking Service.

I am quite familiar with wrecker rates, so I protested. I called three wrecker companies and asked for their rate to move the said vehicle from Papine to Liguanea and was quoted $8,500, $9,000 and $10,000.

The police officer explained that they had to use Jamaica Wrecking Company because they had the ‘government contract’.

When I got to the wrecker company’s address at 43 Mountain View, I saw no office. There was a small grocery shop and a derelict-looking building. A young lady in ‘yard clothes’ was sitting on a bench under a tree. I asked her where the office was. “Is me you pay,” she replied. When I enquired why the fee was so high, she bluntly responded, “You want the vehicle or not?”

When I returned to Matilda's Corner Police Station, a ‘bus man’ was there complaining about the same problem. He had been hit with a whopping  $25,000 bill from Half-Way-Tree to Liguanea from the same company.

This raises questions. Why are the police wrecker fees more than double that of other companies? Does Jamaica Wrecking Service really have an exclusive ‘police contract’?  Why can’t motorists choose a more affordable wrecker?

Colin Wheeler