Friday, December 28, 2018

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Days before the commencement of the school year, the Jamaica Constabulary Force rolled out its newest division — the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB).

The occasion took place at the Harman Barracks in Vineyard Town, Kingston. The division will be headquartered at Elletson Road and led by Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Allen.

“We're launching this at perhaps the worst of times. A lot of our busiest roads in our country are being worked on, which has caused major disruptions. Come next week when school opens and everybody is back on... it's going to be critical what we do. I know we've been meeting with other stakeholders like the National Works Agency to work out how we do this,” Police Commissioner Antony Anderson told the audience, which included Dr Horace Chang, minister of national security; Dr Fitz Jackson, Opposition spokesman on national security; and Kenute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining; as well as members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

There are currently four major thoroughfares being rehabilitated. These are: Marcus Garvey Drive; Mandela Highway (from Six Miles to Ferry); Constant Spring Road (from Manor Park to Eastwood Park Road intersection); and Hagley Park Road (from Maxfield Avenue to Three Miles).

The 300-strong PSTEB is a merger between the Motorised Patrol and the Highway and Traffic divisions. It's aimed at improving social order and safe public spaces, improving compliance to the Road Traffic Act, and reducing crime in public spaces.

The top cop said, initially there will be a spike in the number of tickets issued as well as in the number of prosecutions over time. But this would fall off as motorists conform to the requirements of the law.

“Persons doing the right thing have nothing to be concerned about, and persons who are determined to be the wrong things should be concerned because we will consistently and professionally carry out our duties. This is one of the critical pillars and strategies as we move forward to deal with crime. Where there's order, there's less opportunity for crime to take place. Where there's visibility, there's less opportunity for crime to take place,” he added.

— Brian Bonitto

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