#Jamaica, February 07, 2018 – Montego Bay – Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, says he is extremely encouraged by the overwhelming public support for the Enhanced Security Measures that have been effected in the parish of St. James since January 18. The Minister was speaking following a tour of sections of Montego Bay on Sunday, February 4 along with senior military and police personnel.
During the tour, Mr. Montague visited several homes and commercial establishments and stopped along the roadway to speak to residents. He ended the trip with a visit to the Freeport lock-up and the Barnett Street Police Station.
“Every community we visited, everybody was in support of these enhanced security measures. They were very praiseful of the security forces; of how professional they were when they interacted with them, and how they respected them,” Mr. Montague said.
“When we visited the Freeport Lockup, I interacted with the family members who had persons detained. They, too, spoke to the very professional way in which the security forces were treating them. I spoke to some of the detainees themselves, and they too had the same story,” the Minister added.
Mr. Montague said he was also heartened with the response from stakeholders who had attended a community meeting staged by the Ministry of National Security in the afternoon following the tour.
“The overwhelming sentiment is again for support and the professionalism of the men and women of our security forces, again demonstrating that our security forces can be deployed; they can enforce the law and they can respect the rights of citizens,” he said.
In the meantime, Mr. Montague said funds are being sourced through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to repair the Barnett Street facility, which had been razed by fire some time ago, in order to “accommodate more police officers who are visiting the parish”. He also said that in order to address space constraints, the Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston is now housing 50 remandees from St. James, and the Tamarind Farm correctional facility is being brought “up to speed” to enable it to house some others.