Crime sti­fles busi­ness pro­duc­tiv­ity in Manch­ester

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer jodi-ann.gilpin@glean­erjm.com

CRIME IS con­tin­u­ing to cause grave con­cern for cit­i­zens in Ja­maica, in­clud­ing var­i­ous stake­hold­ers in Manch­ester who are ex­press­ing worry over the neg­a­tive im­pact it has been hav­ing on busi­nesses and de­vel­op­ment.

Michael Gottshalk, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­lic af­fairs at the Manch­ester Cham­ber of Com­merce, while ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists dur­ing a re­cent Gleaner Jobs and Growth Fo­rum at the Man­dev­ille Ho­tel, said the is­sue was even more dis­turb­ing, as crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties con­tinue to spread to re­mote ar­eas.

“A big threat to busi­nesses in Manch­ester is crime. It is af­fect­ing us a lot. We are try­ing to bring on ini­tia­tives which can as­sist with that. Us­ing our mo­tor ve­hi­cle re­pair fund, we are as­sist­ing the po­lice to get their ve­hi­cles up and run­ning as quickly as pos­si­ble. We con­tinue to as­sist them with their CCTV (closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion) project, where they are able to mon­i­tor move­ment in and around the busi­ness sec­tor,” he said.

“Most re­cently, I see where some more cam­eras are be­ing in­stalled. What we would love to see hap­pen­ing though and I think it’s in the pipe­line – Man­dev­ille is pretty cov­ered, but crime is ex­pand­ing to other ar­eas which never ex­pe­ri­enced those lev­els of crime – I think that the project has to take it fur­ther and out­fit cam­eras in other re­mote towns such as Chris­tiana.”

Added Gottshalk: “We ur­gently need to get these cam­eras up and run­ning and brought into com­mis­sion so that we can have a more wide­spread man­age­ment of the area.”

DIF­FI­CULT FOR FIRE­FIGHT­ERS

Act­ing deputy su­per­in­ten­dent at the Manch­ester Di­vi­sion of the Ja­maica Fire Brigade, Ro­han Powell, shared sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments, in­di­cat­ing that crime has caused their jobs as fire­fight­ers to be more dif­fi­cult.

“When we get called to some places, if the po­lice are not go­ing, then we are def­i­nitely not go­ing based on what would have re­sulted from the na­ture of the call. We know there are some hos­tile places. If ever we get a call from Job Lane (com­mu­nity), we must go there with po­lice. We have had our unit dam­aged af­ter re­spond­ing to in­ci­dents. Fire­fight­ers even re­ceived in­juries from irate cit­i­zens,” he said.

Calvin Lyn, former mem­ber of par­lia­ment and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Lyn’s Fu­neral Home, has, how­ever, sug­gested a more pre­ven­ta­tive ap­proach.

“When a former prime min­is­ter came up with the Val­ues and At­ti­tudes Pro­gramme, he was scorned and laughed at, but, for me, that is where we should start. We have to start in the schools and change the cul­ture among the younger pop­u­la­tion,” he said.

When we get called to some places, if the po­lice are not go­ing, then we are def­i­nitely not go­ing based on what would have re­sulted from the na­ture of the call. We know there are some hos­tile places. We have had our unit dam­aged af­ter re­spond­ing to in­ci­dents. Fire­fight­ers even re­ceived in­juries from irate cit­i­zens.

Calvin Lyn, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Lyn’s Fu­neral Home.

PHO­TOS BY IAN ALLEN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Michael Gottshalk, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­lic af­fairs at the Manch­ester Cham­ber of Com­merce.

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