MoBay chamber wants cameras to help fight crime in city

MoBay chamber wants cameras to help fight crime in city

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 17, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Janet Silvera is calling on the Government to move swiftly to install the promised CCTV cameras under the much touted JamaicaEye programme to assist with crime-fighting in the resort city.

JamaicaEye is part of an islandwide network of camera surveillance systems designed to increase the safety of all citizens. These cameras will monitor public spaces across the island and assist the authorities in responding to disasters, acts of criminality, or accidents.

However, nothing has been heard about the programme in the parish since the installation of a few cameras in Montego Bay a few years ago.

“We will continue to say that we need options; we also need to put in all the things we have been promised over the years, which is the JamaicaEye. We need that to happen; we need those cameras to be fixed. We need to put in place a number of measures [to curb crime in the city],” Silvera said.

She was speaking to members of the media Wednesday following the first MBCCI meeting for 2020 at the S Hotel in Montego Bay.

She further stated: “I get the feeling that the Government now understands the importance of putting in place the right equipment for the police force, as well as the army, to do their jobs .”

She listed a slow-down of activities by JamaicaEye among the list of priorities that the MBCCI will be tackling this year. Silvera promised to take up the matter with Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, who is Member of Parliament for St James North West.

“I am not aware of anything happening, but we are going to ensure that this year we have more conversations with the minister of national security, who is a Member of Parliament right here in western Jamaica,” Silvera said.

In the meantime, Silvera declared that the MBCCI is in full support of the state of emergency, a measure which she noted is bearing fruits.

“We feel that it is working and we see no reason why we won't support it, based on the fact that it is working right now,” she said.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a state of public emergency in the parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland in April last year. Before that a state of emergency, which was first declared in St James on January 18, 2018, ended on January 31, 2019.

But the MBCCI president called for the authorities to invite stakeholders from St James to sit at the table during discussions about matters relating to the parish.

“We must have a voice; we have been living under states of emergency for two years so if there is going to be, for instance, a crime summit, we would want to have our voices heard. So, we want the authorities to come to Montego Bay and to meet with us – the business community and residents of Montego Bay. Let us know what your plans are and get ideas from us as well. We must know what we have been living under, and we must know how we can help you best,” said Silvera, who later stated that Kingston is not Jamaica.


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