WESTERN BUREAU:Councillor of the Friendship Division of the Westmoreland Parish Council, Edwin Allwood, has expressed grave concern about the absence of street lights in some communities.
Allwood said he was worried as residents were growing fearful of venturing out at night because of a recent upsurge of crime, which has occurred as a result of the darkness. He said, in some areas, street lights have been out of service for some time.
"There are insufficient street lights servicing the parish of Westmoreland, and this creates a problem for the security of residents within certain volatile communities," Allwood said.
"Recently, there has been an upsurge of crime within the Prospect and Bark Mountain communities, where the absence of street lights creates the perfect opportunity for criminals to carry out their acts of crime under the protective cover of darkness.
"I am also very dissatisfied with the length of time it takes to effect repairs to those street lights that are not working. We need to find a better way to monitor how this resource is paid for because we should not have to disburse payment for a service that we do not receive," he added.
Similar to Allwood's concerns, Councillor of the Leamington Division, Cebert McFarlane, is also calling for additional street lights to be installed.
"No new street lights have been installed in my division since 2008," McFarlane told Western Focus. ''Recently, we have been getting some level of cooperation from the JPS with regard to the fixing of out-of-service lights, but we urgently need new ones to be installed, especially within the community of Ascott," he added.
When contacted, JPS Parish Manager for Westmoreland, Kenyatta Campbell, said lightning and theft of street lights were the main reasons for the absence of street lights in some areas. He said the community of Grange Hill was one area where theft of street lights was occurring frequently.
Campbell also said there was a repair programme in operation for the parish.
"We have been consistently carrying out repairs to defective street lights as we have a team of workers who go out at night to identify those that are faulty. Currently, there is an outstanding number of 39 repairs left to be done. Based on the Office of Utilities Regulation standards, only seven are over the 14 days allowed for repairs to be effected," he said.
- K. W.