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MoBay mayor to partner with stakeholders to roll out social intervention programmes in St James

Observer West writer

Thursday, May 09, 2019

 MONTEGO BAY, St James — Mayor of Montego Bay Homer Davis says he plans to partner with a number of agencies to build out a slew of social intervention programmes in an effort to make the recently implemented state of public emergency (SOE) in St James, a success.

“A number of [people] have been saying that we did not pay enough attention to the social intervention in the last state of emergency. I am saying that it is early days now and we should grab at that opportunity. And so, I will be consulting with you [Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry], I will be consulting with the custos, I will be consulting with PMI [Peace Management Initiative] and all the critical stakeholders in this parish to see how we can partner together to make this parish a much better place, a much livable place at the end of this state of emergency,” Davis argued.

The mayor made the disclosure during the St James Municipal Corporation's in partnership with More 91.7 FM, inaugural staging of Your Mayor Speaks interaction programme held on the grounds of the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, St James last Thursday.

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Winston Lawson said his organisation recently met with the commanding officer for St James, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, where a commitment to support Jamaica Eye and the security forces in the implementation of social intervention programmes.

“He outlined to us some of the social interventions that his team will be doing and we have made a commitment to join up, because there is no need to reinvent the wheel. We certainly will join the forces with some of those programmes to help with the fight in crime,” stated Lawson.

“What is required is not just the necessary reforms that are coming, but also quite a lot of intervention that we believe as a chamber we can play a part in.”

Last week Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the declaration of the SOE in the three western parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

The SOE will be in effect for 14 days and, if necessary, it will be extended for up to three months by a two-thirds majority of the Houses of Parliament.

Up to last week, St James had recorded 49 murders, an almost 70 per cent increase over last year, when the parish was under a state of emergency.

In 2018, during the enhanced security measure in St James, the parish recorded 102 murders, down from 341 in the previous year.