Wed | Oct 5, 2022

MoBay Chamber boss calls for public order reset

Published:Monday | August 15, 2022 | 12:07 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Oral Heaven, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, receives a token from Patrice Jones, acting general manager of the Montego Bay Convention Centre, at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Jamaica International Beauty Expo on Friday.
Oral Heaven, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, receives a token from Patrice Jones, acting general manager of the Montego Bay Convention Centre, at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Jamaica International Beauty Expo on Friday.

WESTERN BUREAU:

THE MONTEGO Bay business community is calling for a reset of public order to stimulate economic growth and to curb crime in St James.

“For any city to be beautiful, public order must be maintained,” declared Oral Heaven, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The chamber boss made the call while delivering the keynote address at the third annual staging of the Jamaica International Beauty Expo at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Friday, August 12.

The three-day event is the largest of its kind being held in the Caribbean and has just over 70 exhibitors this year.

Montego Bay law enforcers have struggled to maintain public order in the face of rising gun crime. That collapse was starkly evident in a daylight shoot-out between two civilians over a traffic dispute in July.

Police data show that 909 people were murdered between January 1 and August 8 nationally, with 126 of those victims being killed in St James. That repreents an increase of 24, or 23.5 per cent, over the 102 recorded in 2021.

Heaven warmed that the absence of public order threatened the public good, causing loss of life and property..

“... People will feel less safe. We do not want that for our city, we do not want that for our country,” he charged.

“We must have a disciplined society and pay attention to, not just the big things, but the small things – things such as street vending, traffic offences, business compliance, environmental laws, and garbage disposal.”

The MBCCI president, who is also a financial adviser with Sagicor Life, issued a call to corporate business leaders and all other stakeholders in the parish to do more to promote safety for Jamaicans and foreign investors alike.

“We need our city to continue to grow and develop,” beseeched Heaven.

“A peaceful and clean city in which we need to get more foreign investments and for international exhibitors to comfortably come to Jamaica and feel safe and unbothered.”

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com