MoBay is open for business – Mayor Davis
Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, said that while the tourist capital continues to grapple with its crime problem, the city is nonetheless open for business and is extending an open invitation to investors.
"It is a tough one. I would admit that St James has its special challenges, but from my experience over the years, crime has not been directly antagonistic towards investors," said Davis. "I have never seen any adverse push towards investors as it relates to the perpetration of crime."
Citing the crime statistics, Davis, who is also the chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, explained that most murders committed in the parish are of a certain demographic and are rooted in reprisals. While not down-playing the situation, he said investors have little to fear.
The optimistic Davis also noted that with the Zones of Special Operations law to be implemented in conjunction with intelligence gathering by the security forces, he believes the parish's high crime rate will be a thing of the past before long.
"I am very optimistic that in the not-too-distant future, St James murder rate and shootings will be brought under control because people are now beginning to realise the importance of having a safe community," said Davis.
The mayor said the new attitude of the general citizenry towards having safer communi-ties bodes well for the city, which is home to a number of major businesses and one of the areas being targeted for major investments.
"I know the business process outsourcing sector is expanding, and from the last data I got, by the end of 2018, some 6,000 to 7,000 new jobs will be created in Montego Bay as well as Hanover," Davis explained.
"So with all the challenges, Montego Bay is still seen as a destination where investment can thrive and businesses can continue to expand and make big profits. Montego Bay is still open for business and we are here as a municipal corporation to fast-track development."
Despite several new policing initiatives, Montego Bay continues to be a challenge for the police and the various stakeholders, as with over 180 murders since the start of the year, it remains the nation's bloodiest police division.