Crime stopping production
The high crime rate is impacting how businesses function.

Dear Editor,

Everyone will agree that Jamaica is a blessed country. However, everyone will not legitimately prosper if the monster of crime is not brought under control.

Even though 70 per cent of crime is reportedly carried out by gangs, we are all at risk. No one can afford to become complacent as it may be to their peril.

We operate an agro-processing facility and are unable to work extra hours as the staff does not want to work nights due to the high crime rate and limited transportation after dark.

Recently, I heard it said in the media that companies should consider working an extra shift instead of investing in extra machinery to increase production – a logical statement. I am not afraid to admit that I have invested in additional machinery solely for the purpose of increasing daytime production rather than working an extra night shift.

On the face of it, this does not make economic sense. However, the reality is that working late has long been a problem for my staff as no one wants to go home in the dark. I cannot argue with them. Crime continues unabated in the parish, despite the recent states of emergency.

Just recently, one of our employees' husband was fatally shot. In the same month an employee was also shot and seriously injured but managed to survive.

The fear is real.

Yes, we need to work additional shifts as only then will we achieve economies of scale. However, smaller companies and, especially those in the rural areas, will not be able to get onboard due to the constant high crime rate and limited public transportation.

Getting the crime situation under control would create the environment needed for one to employ more staff for that second shift, thereby helping more people to earn an honest living.

Andrew Gray

Gray's Pepper

grays.pepper@cwjamaica.com

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