Westmoreland needs SOE and more
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has done the correct thing, on the advice of the security forces, to have announced a state of public emergency (SOE) in the parish of Westmoreland.
As a former four-term parish councillor, former chairman of the Little London Community Development Committee, local government researcher, and community advocate I had previously called on the prime minister to announce an SOE for Westmoreland. Among the priorities now should be for a specially vetted, properly funded and staffed anti-gang and lottery scamming special operations team to be formed and sent to Westmoreland to go after the major criminal gang leaders and their associate gang members. Major scammers are to be targeted, arrested, charged, and brought before the courts for their varying crimes and all Westmoreland’s wanted criminals are to be found and arrested.
It is quite clear to me, based on my personal conversations with a few of the police officers in Westmoreland, that a huge number of lottery scammers have migrated from Montego Bay and are cunningly residing in the parish at secluded locations. Every single one of them must be found, investigated, and arrested, and where necessary extradited to the United States to face the full force of the American court system.
All the major Jamaican scammers who have been formally extradited to the United States on charges of scamming have been convicted and are serving long prison terms, from 12 to 20 years.
Westmoreland has become a dangerous parish, filled with scammers, gangsters, and illegal narcotics traders and, sadly, some fishermen are involved in these activities.
It is quite clear to me that the majority of police officers within Westmoreland are honest, hard-working, and professional officers; however, the division is extremely underfunded and requires additional police service vehicles as well as more intelligence and narcotics investigators who are assigned and stationed in the parish.
I am hereby proposing that the National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang purchases at least 25 new police vehicles for Westmoreland and allocate an additional $100 million to the Westmoreland Police Division.
I urge the three Westmoreland Members of Parliament (MPs) to give their full support to the Westmoreland police and seek to assist them with any additional resources that they may need at this time. I can attest to the fact that Jamaica Labour Party’s MP Moreland Wilson has been assisting his constituents with some level of funding to start their own small businesses; has given hundreds of educational financial grants to students since being elected as MP; and is trying his best to urge constituents of Westmoreland Western, where he is MP, to desist from getting involved in criminal activities.
The crime problem in Westmoreland must be dealt with in a firm, strategic, and no- nonsense way for the high crime rate is negatively affecting businesses all throughout the parish.
Westmoreland must not and cannot be a haven for scammers, gangsters, and drug sellers.
Frank L R Manborde
Jamaica United Local Government Representatives Association