Police say some businesses benefiting from crime
Divisional commander of the St James police, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, says some business operators in the parish have been turning a blind eye to criminal activities, while others have been benefiting from the illicit lottery scam.
"The business sector in St James needs to wake up, needs to take its head from out of the sand or out of the cloud," said McGregor, during a recent Gleaner mini-forum in Montego Bay. "If the crime does not affect them, it is not their business.
"I will also tell you that there are some business people who are benefiting from the lottery scamming more than the scammers themselves are benefiting," added McGregor.
He said there is a strong resistance to authority in St James.
"It is a parish with scant regard for law and order," McGregor said. "If you look at what happens in the township, everybody, under the guise of 'eating a food', wants to do anything that they feel like and they resist authority or that regulatory body that is there, so it makes it much more difficult for the police to do their jobs."
HIGH PRAISEFOR CHAMBER
However, McGregor had high praise for the support of the Gloria Henry-led Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has partnered with the police on several important initiatives.
"The chamber of commerce is working with us, bringing back structure to the town and this will aid our efforts to manage crime, and we are appreciative of such assistance," said McGregor.
When contacted, Henry did not challenge McGregor's comments.
"The senior super-intendent would have the necessary intelligence to support his comments, but all the business operators that are members of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce are fully supportive of the anti-crime measures of the police," said Henry.