Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Burdened by the huge pile-up of derelict vehicles at police station compounds across the island, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is one entity that is gearing up to take advantage of Monday's reopening of the scrap-metal trade.
As part of several initiatives under the trade, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton has reiterated plans by his ministry and the Ministry of National Security to rid the police stations of vehicles "no longer needed for evidence" and for which the owners cannot be identified.
'Quite a lot' of old vehicles
These vehicles will be carted off to the trade and the funds generated are set to benefit the Ministry of National Security, Hylton disclosed during yesterday's press conference where the planned reopening of the trade was announced.
Yesterday, Inspector Millaneise Collin, at police traffic headquarters, said that already "quite a lot" of vehicles on the compound have been marked for the trade.
"We have some Lada vehicles that have been on the compound for well over 30 years now, and for whatever reason the owners cannot be located," Collin said.
He pointed out that provisions in the JCF Act allow for the disposal of vehicles after 90 days, providing that the necessary steps have been taken to identify the owner of the vehicle. He said this included the publication of useful information to help locate the owner.
On a tour of the compound at traffic headquarters, The Gleaner was led to two different sites where dozens of vehicles were seen in a pile. Some of those destined for the trade were labelled with blue markers.
The inspector said the vehicles have become overrun by rats over the years and have posed a threat to both the security and the health of policemen and women at the station.