Montego Bay Chamber Supports Calls to Extend State of Emergency (Montego Bay, Jamaica – April 30, 2018)

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce & Industry is in support of extending the State of Emergency (SOE) for St. James in the absence of a suitable replacement. We implore the Houses of Parliament to work together to get this done, albeit disappointed with the delay in bringing about a replacement solution.

The Chamber lauds the tremendous work of the joint security forces since the advent of the SOE and recognizes the significant successes in reducing the crime levels.

The Chamber would wish that in the circumstances of an extension of the current SOE, it be accompanied by:

  • Due consideration, if at all possible, for extended opening hours for such businesses to include pharmacies, gas stations, supermarkets
  • The extension time is used to strategize in transitioning away from the SOE (given the stigma of a SOE and the challenges it poses on business revenues) but into a continued effective collaborative policing by our security forces that will sustain or more so improve on current results. Our businesses believe this will allow for the continued relative calm in the community and the restoration of revenues necessary for the growth and development typical of the Parish
  • The extended SOE is one whereby intelligence gathering has improved and decisions to arrest are more judicious to ensure we have limited reports, if any at all, of unjustified arrests.

“Truth be told Montego Bay needs at least another six to twelve months of the relentless collaborative crime fighting, which we have seen since the SOE, to demonstrate to criminals that we are unambiguous about eradicating this monster. We hope this can be done outside the ambit of a full blown SOE”, in the words of newly minted President of the Chamber Winston Lawson.