ST JAMES, Jamaica - The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) and the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to undertake a comprehensive study on the impact of crime in the city of Montego Bay, St James.
To be carried out by researchers from the UCC over the next three months, at a cost of $1 million, the study will determine the effects of crime on the local business community and residents, financial costs being incurred, and measures that can be implemented to mitigate the scourge.
It will delve deep into the underlying factors contributing to crime in Montego Bay, and answer critical questions such as the socioeconomic elements that drive crime and the precise impact on the city's vital tourism industry.
Researchers will employ a multi-prong approach in gathering data, including focus group discussions and interviews with various stakeholders such as law enforcement personnel, community leaders, and educators.
The intention is to provide both quantitative and qualitative data that will serve as the foundation for informed decision-making and guide policies and practices in Montego Bay and across the nation.
President of MBCCI, Oral Heaven, in his remarks at the signing on Friday at the organisation’s offices in St James, said the collaborative effort with the UCC signifies a proactive step toward enhancing the safety, prosperity, and overall well-being of Montego Bay’s business community and its inhabitants.
He noted that the MOU will be in place for five years with a mid-term review after 2.5 years to determine adjustments.
Heaven added that the Chamber's commitment to uncovering the underlying causes of crime in the second city, stating that tackling the issue extends beyond the realms of law enforcement, the police, or the Ministry of National Security.
For his part, president of the UCC, Haldane Davies, said that the study will serve the greater good of the nation.
He said that the UCC team is looking forward to engaging communities, actively participating in various activities, and collaborating closely with local stakeholders.
“There is no greater collaboration than when higher education and the business community can come together in the interest of citizens of the nation, and to ensure that what we do in our individual spaces have collective meaning for all of us,” Davies noted.