Security minister urges entertainment stakeholders to form unified body as SOE complaints mount
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang is encouraging event promoters across St James to form a unified body that will have a greater voice, as well as streamline the application for permits to stage engagements.
Chang made the recommendation as he assured entertainment stakeholders that the states of emergency (SOE) will not be indefinite during a meeting held at Pier One in Montego Bay yesterday.
This after stakeholders raised concern about the impact the SOEs were having on their events. But the security minister said the enhanced security measure, while it will not be prolonged, is having a positive impact on reducing crime levels in the parish.
“The primary purpose of the SOE is to reduce [crime and violence, particularly murders]. The SOE is, however, not something you can maintain forever in a community and, in fact, the shorter the time you have it, the better off you [the public] are,” he told the meeting.
Chang, who is also the member of parliament for Northwest St James, underscored the need for “a legitimate framework for entertainment [so] that [patrons] can conduct themselves [appropriately] without getting into violent activities”.
“We need the opportunity for young people to get into other kinds of activity [as well] and we need to get the communities organised [under the SOE],” he said.