Jamaica | Mar 8, 2023

Mayor Leon Thomas appeals for increased surveillance in Portmore

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas delivering remarks at an Emancipation Day flag-raising ceremony in the municipality in August 2020. (Photo: Facebook @mayorleonthomasportmore)

Mayor of Portmore Leon Thomas is calling on the Government to fulfil its promise of installing close-circuit security cameras from the Jamaica Eye initiative and increase surveillance in the Sunshine City amid rising criminal activities.

Portmore has seen an increase in robberies, shootings and the disposal of bodies in remote areas that have sparked high levels of concern among citizens.

During an interview with Our Today, Mayor Thomas said the crime situation in Portmore is very bad and he is uncertain about the root cause of the issue.

“I don’t know exactly what is really happening but we have a lot of shootings taking place in Portmore and inadequate police are in Portmore. [In] some of the police stations there is no landline telephone; police have a serious challenge in regards to that. Citizens can’t even call the police station because there is no telephone contact,” he lamented.

Technical personnel from the Ministry of National Security conduct maintenance of the cameras that are a part of the JamaicaEye programme, in St. Andrew. (Photo: JIS)

Continuing, Thomas contended that there has also been an increase in bodies being dumped, especially along Dyke Road, which maintains its notoriety. To combat the concerning rise, he has petitioned for more patrol by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

“I think more police is needed in Portmore along with more vehicles, more patrol and they need to install Jamaica Eye cameras within Portmore,” he said.

“They talk about it long time ago and there is no move that the Government has made to install these cameras. There are some cameras that [were] installed at some of the intersections. A number of them are not working, so there is nothing that the police have out there can assist them,” the mayor added.

The Portmore Pines branch of the Jamaica National Bank (JN) was recently the victim of a robbery that saw gunmen reportedly stealing J$10 million.

The incident that took place on February 28 also resulted in the death of one security guard and another hospitalised.

In a statement published after the incident, JN offered assurances that it has beefed up the security detail to prevent such instances.

According to Mayor Thomas, a lack of surveillance in the area put a snag in the police’s investigations.

“The last shooting with the security guard up by Portmore Pines, the police was relying heavily on those cameras to give them footage, but they were not available because they are not working,” said Mayor Thomas.

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