Gov't progressing with plan to amend Noise Abatement law
Entertainment Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, says she is optimistic about finding solutions to address the growing rift between the police and event promoters impacted by some of the provisions in the Noise Abatement Act.
The 2a.m. cut-off time stipulated in the law for entertainment events has long been a source of conflict between the police and party promoters.
Yesterday, Grange met with National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, members of the Police High Command, officials from the National Environment and Planning Agency and other stakeholders to examine possible amendments to the Act, which regulates entertainment events.
In a statement after the talks, Grange said entertainment zones, “hours that would be approved, days and extensions” were among the issues discussed.
“I’m happy to say that we have arrived at a framework within which we will work,” she said.
The minister said the next step is for a small working group to “look at the immediate amendments that can be made to the noise abatement legislation and to see “how we can, within the immediate future, address some of the problems and arrive at solutions in relation to events.”
Chang acknowledged that the police are having “major challenges” handling entertainment activities across the island and said some places like Negril are particularly difficult.
He described the meeting as the beginning of a process to deal with these challenges.
“Entertainment is one of our largest industries and an area [in which] we have more of our humble people with creative talent having the opportunity to develop and give individuals good income and improve their quality of life,” he said.
“We have to ensure that we put Jamaica’s entertainment industry on a solid legal footing,” he added.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey promised to discuss the proposals with Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson, other members of the High Command as well as divisional commanders.
“We will have further dialogue because we believe that it’s a partnership approach that needs to be taken to treat with the issue of entertainment because it is important to the development of Jamaica,” he said.
“We don’t want entertainers to see us as their enemies. We are friends. And we want to work as best as possible to resolve some of the issues that we are currently faced with,” Bailey said.