PSOJ calls for heightened vigilance, comprehensive response to bomb threats
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Private Sector Organisation Of Jamaica (PSOJ) says it is deeply concerned about the recent spate of bomb threats that have plagued the nation since last week. These threats have targeted various sectors, including schools, businesses, and hospitals.
“Although no casualties were sustained or bombs found, the PSOJ is aware of the negative impacts these threats have on Jamaica’s economy and society,” the organisation said in a statement.
“Furthermore, these bomb threats are a despicable manifestation of public mischief, underscoring a deep-seated moral deficit within certain elements of our society. The willingness to instil fear and chaos, particularly by targeting vulnerable sectors such as schools directly involving our children, reflects a disturbing disregard for the well-being and safety of our community,” it added.
Last week, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fitz Bailey, confirmed that 71 institutions were impacted between Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10, with a hospital and a court building among recent targets on Friday.
All other targets were educational institutions, including Denbigh and Lennon High in Clarendon, Old Harbour and Greater Portmore High in St Catherine, and William Knibb Memorial Trelawny.
The PSOJ noted that such actions disrupt daily life and betray a profound lack of respect for the fundamental values “that bind us as a nation, calling for a collective condemnation and a renewed commitment to moral and civic responsibility.”
The PSOJ said the recurring threats are not only causing widespread panic and disruption but are also resulting in significant loss of productive hours, leading to economic fallout. The toll on the mental wellness of our citizens, including our children, cannot be overstated. The organisation added that they believe that these threats have created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that is unacceptable.
On Monday, Kingston Wharves Limited was forced to halt operations due to a bomb threat. The company may have suffered losses of about $50 million — the amount the entity normally earns per day.
The port and logistics company, which moves bulk, breakbulk and containerised cargo, had to suspend all its operations after receiving a call about 9:30 am that there was a bomb on the premises.
“In light of recent bomb threats, the PSOJ is calling on the Government of Jamaica to take decisive action. We are urging the government and relevant agencies to establish and communicate proper protocols for responding to bomb threats. This will ensure that citizens know what steps to take in such situations, reducing panic and disruption,” the PSOJ said.
“Moreover, the PSOJ recognises the need to fully identify the socio-economic repercussions of the recent bomb threats on our businesses and communities. To address this, we will conduct a comprehensive assessment focusing on the impacts of the threats. This will include an evaluation of the business disruptions caused by extended office closures, loss of productive hours, and the need for early staff dismissals due to school closures,” it continued.
The PSOJ said its evaluation will aim to quantify the economic losses and explore the broader social consequences of these disruptions. By understanding these impacts that can develop and implement effective strategies and advocacy efforts.
“This analysis is critical to ensure that the PSOJ remains proactive and adaptable in addressing such challenges and supports the stability and resilience of our member businesses and the broader Jamaican community. Our national security apparatus must be equipped to handle such threats effectively and efficiently,” the organisation said.
“We also strongly urge all businesses across Jamaica to treat every threat seriously. This is an opportunity for businesses to review and implement robust security protocols and their overall business continuity strategy. Businesses must ensure their team members are fully briefed and prepared to respond appropriately to such threats. In these trying times, the PSOJ also understands the impact of these threats on the mental health of our citizens and, therefore, encourages those affected to seek support and counsel,” it further stated. .
The PSOJ said it remains committed to working alongside the government, security forces, and all stakeholders to ensure the safety and well-being of our citizens. The organisation went on to say that it stand united in our efforts to maintain a secure and stable environment for the prosperity of Jamaica.