Bomb scare cripples commerce in Falmouth

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Employees were asked to evacuate buildings in the entire commercial hub of the historic Water Square and surrounding areas of Falmouth yesterday following a threat that a bomb was planted at the building that in which the Falmouth courthouse is situated.

The historic Georgian-styled building that houses the courthouse, also accommodates Trelawny Municipal Corporation offices.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Jamaica Defence Force were on hand.

Operations also ceased at a gas station, two financial institutions and several other stores that were cordoned off with police yellow tape, as soldiers swept the area in search of the explosive device.

Passengers who disembarked two cruise ships at the nearby Falmouth Port were seemingly spared any inconvenience as they were seen being ushered pass the yellow tape by members of the security forces.

Yesterday was the second time this year that a bomb threat had been reported in the parish of Trelawny. In August, the parish court sitting in Duncans was shut down for about 24 hours following bomb threat. This turned out to be a hoax

A recent string of fake bomb threats also included two at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Following a prank bomb scare, which temporarily brought the ceremonial opening of the Michaelmas Term of the Home Circuit Court at the Supreme Court building in downtown Kingston to a halt, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras that are to be installed at court complexes islandwide are to help combat these types of security issues.

“...We are going to put in cameras across each court complex. The idea of the camera is that it can detail what happens 24 hours per day. So we can always search what happens in each space... Very shortly, all of the court complexes will have cameras detailing what is happening in each courtroom, each corner of the court, and around the court.

“We will certainly be able to identify any movement that may happen because these cameras are such that it can identify any movement; so if there is a movement at night, it can be detected and we hope that will prevent similar occurrences, which as I say, turned out to be fake,” Chuck said.

Yesterday, acting president of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce and Industry Delroy Christie called for the Justice Ministry to speed up the installation of cameras in courthouses.

He also called for the installation of more CCTV in the heart of the town of Falmouth.

“I think we need to have more cameras installed in the town of Falmouth,” Christie told the Jamaica Observer.

Up to press time yesterday, the area was still cordoned off.

— Horace Hines

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