Street light theft a big problem in MandevilleMonday, January 13, 2020
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Councillor for the Mandeville Division in the Manchester Municipal Corporation (MMC), Jones Oliphant (PNP) is concerned about the theft of street lights in the parish capital and surrounding areas.
“Three lights have been removed between November and December of last year. This is a cause for concern because...we have waited so long for street lights, then to get up in the morning and see these lights disappear is so wrong,” Oliphant told the recent monthly meeting of the MMC.
“And what is interesting about most of these lights — they are concrete poles; they are not timber, so it suggests that there is a specialised team that is going around to remove these lights. Where a man can climb a timber pole, it is hard for a man to climb a concrete pole…,” he said.
Oliphant urged the culprit(s) to return the stolen street lights and desist from the practice.
He identified two of the missing street lights as having been removed from an area close to Northern Caribbean University (NCU) and also along the Greenvale Road.
Down the years, missing street lights, presumed stolen, have been a consistent source of irritation for rural communities. The matter is often raised at meetings of local authorities accompanied by suggestions that the removal of these street lights is carried out by people with considerable expertise using appropriate equipment.
Operations manager at the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) Quinn Shortridge told MMC members that there was need for a collective effort to stop the stealing of street lights as well as electricity. The latter, he said, is a constant concern for JPS.
“The stealing of lights and stealing overall…abstraction of electricity; stealing of lights, it can't be something that is left to JPS alone [or] the police alone, because I think it is fair for me to say that we very well know some of the perpetrators and we pass them,” he said.
He urged the councillors to speak with their constituents in order to influence a change in behaviour.