Sun | Feb 16, 2020

Keep Negril a wonderful destination

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 7:40 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

In reference to The Gleaner’s recent story ‘Drug peddlers outfox cops on Negril Beach’, I have been a visitor to Negril, Westmoreland, since 1978 and have lived here four months a year over the last 10 years. I walk the beach regularly and casually know many of the hustlers working between Point Village (condos) and Woodstock (food/entertainment venue). Some of my friends would say these folks provide a service, while others consider them an annoyance.

SHORTCOMINGS

Personally, I find two faults with these peddlers:

1). Some of them don’t understand the word ‘no’ and will badger you beyond your patience.

2). Some of the non-ganja products are of unreliable quality or are outright dangerous.

I’ve witnessed several people becoming ill from edibles purchased on the beach. As a tourist destination, the government and business organisations need to be very concerned about both of these issues, as they directly impact the region’s tourist desirability.

I’ve watched local law enforcement (marine police and regular police) approach some of the hustlers on the beach. Some hustlers get the ‘third degree’, while others are treated like long-lost friends.

Some of the improved policing needs to include officers without any local connections, so all are treated the same. And, yes, more police (especially undercover) and consistency of patrols would be helpful in keeping Negril the wonderful destination I call my second home.

CHARLIE VERSAGGI