JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The police in St. James say they have made great strides in curbing lawlessness in Montego Bay, under the ongoing zero tolerance initiative, dubbed, ‘Operation Restore Paradise’.
  • The operation, which was slated to last for one week from May 20, has been extended by a further 90 days, owing to its success.
  • Providing an update on week one of the initiative, Head of the St. James Police, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, told JIS News that 60 persons have been arrested for various offences, including illegal abstraction of electricity and breaches of the Dangerous Drugs and Municipalities Acts, 27 of whom have been slapped with charges.

The police in St. James say they have made great strides in curbing lawlessness in Montego Bay, under the ongoing zero tolerance initiative, dubbed, ‘Operation Restore Paradise’.

The operation, which was slated to last for one week from May 20, has been extended by a further 90 days, owing to its success.

Providing an update on week one of the initiative, Head of the St. James Police, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, told JIS News that 60 persons have been arrested for various offences, including illegal abstraction of electricity and breaches of the Dangerous Drugs and Municipalities Acts, 27 of whom have been slapped with charges.

Some 1.5 million single-use plastic bags were seized from 41 establishments, while a businessman was prosecuted under the Trade Act and the Natural Resources and Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act.

Several business establishments were also closed for breaching the Public Health Act.

Superintendent Ellis further noted that 900 persons were prosecuted for breaches of the Road Traffic Act, while more than 60 sensitisation sessions were conducted.

“We also removed 50 tints from public passenger vehicles that are not supposed to have them. We removed 26 registration plates for defects, which are to be remedied by owners. We did 69 sensitisation sessions with all the agencies. We sensitised 4,008 persons in terms of the use of seat belts and helmets, how to not block gridded areas, and [taxi operators] for not wearing their uniforms,” Superintendent Ellis informed.

He added that 564 illegal connections were removed by both the National Water Commission (NWC) and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

In the meantime, Mr. Ellis said the operation resulted in “significant decongestion in public places” in Montego Bay, and the feedback from the public has been positive.

“Traffic flowed freely. We saw people wearing their seat belt; taxi drivers came out in their uniform [and there is] no vending on thoroughfares. The efforts are great, the feedback is great, the change in behaviour is great, so we are continuing with phase two of the operation, which is expected to last for 90 days,” Superintendent Ellis said.

Some 15 State agencies, including the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the National Environment and Planning Agency, the St James Municipal Corporation and the Transport Authority, have collaborated with the police to undertake the initiative.