Police reassure gas station operators
Congestion concerns also raised
Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer
The promised meeting between members of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) and the police has taken place and the gas station operators have been somewhat reassured. The meeting was held on Wednesday at the Police Commissioner's Office, Old Hope Road, St Andrew.
Derrick Thompson, president of the JGRA, said the meeting with Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, was attended by four other members of the organisation's executive body. They are immediate JGRA past president Trevor Heaven, first vice-president Errol Edwards, past president Trevor Barnes and managing committee member Annette Wong Lee.
"We got assurance from the commissioner on certain issues and that he would be paying close attention to the sector. We were also concerned whether there was an attack on gas stations and dealers, but based on what the commissioner had before him, there's nothing to suggest that," he said.
In an Automotives story last week, Thompson expressed concern about a perception gas station operators were being targeted. "In two-and-a-half months two of our members have been shot, one fatally and one miraculously survived. I think it's the first time we have seen the brutality in such short order," Thompson said.
sense of assurance
Thompson said "We left the meeting feeling a sense of assurance and we explained that to our other members and we certainly feel more assured than we did last week".
Other concerns the JGRA put to Ellington were the congestion caused by taxi operators at mainly urban service centres. Thompson explained that a second meeting will be held within a month to see how things have progressed.
Total service station operator Melvin Chung was murdered on Saturday, January 5, outside his business establishment on East Street in downtown Kingston. Two firearms were stolen by his assailants.
Before that, another gas station operator was shot and injured in Three Miles, St Andrew, while carrying a large amount of cash to a bank.