We cut through the clutter to tell you some of the most important stories of the day.
Nothing Changing With Traffic
The High Command took the unusual step Tuesday afternoon, August 27, to say comments made by a senior officer about policy and practice were not going to be implemented.
ACP Bishop Dr Gary Welsh, in charge of Traffic, had made comments on Monday suggesting that police would start to take people to “customer centres” for infractions of the Road Traffic Law. He said a range of issues would be checked then including whether they had outstanding maintenance orders or prior non paid tickets. He also said as the police crackdown some motorists would be taken directly to court. There was immediate backlash after some of the suggestions by Bishop Welsh were made public. Without making reference to ACP Bishop Welsh, the Police High Command said it “wishes to assure the public that there have been no changes to its policy regarding the processing of individuals being ticketed for breaches of the Road Traffic Act.” Also, it said: “Despite some of the suggestions being erroneously aired in the public domain, the JCF’s policy remains unchanged and continues to be guided by rule of law in a respectful manner, always seeking to be a force for good.”
Cabinet Traffic Concerns
The Cabinet has discussed with the police the preparedness of law enforcement to enforce the road traffic laws and manage vehicle flow for the start of the new School Year next week.
A release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said that at the first Cabinet meeting after the summer recess, Monday, August 26, the country’s highest political executive, led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with the Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson and the head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Bishop Dr Gary Welsh.
The meeting took place against the background of massive traffic jams in parts of the Capital city, since last Friday, especially in the Dunrobin/Constant Spring Road intersection and up to 400 metres away.
Motorists with unresolved traffic offences and who believe warrants have been issued for their arrest are urged to go to the police now. The appeal has been made by the head of the Police Traffic Division, Bishop Dr Gary Welsh and by Director, Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Kenute Hare. Both were speaking Monday at a symposium on Traffic Crash Investigations and Black Box analysis at the Caribbean Maritime University. Police are expected to start arresting people with warrants as of Sunday, September 1, according to Mr Welsh. He said there were some 40,000 outstanding warrants.
Anti-Trafficking Campaigner Dies
Reverend Dr Margaret Fowler, former Chairperson of the Protection Subcommittee of National Task Force against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) is dead. Rev. Dr Fowler, a former minister of religion, social worker and researcher died on Monday, August 26, 2019.
Rev. Dr Fowler served as the Chairperson of the Protection Subcommittee of NATFATIP between 2015 and 2019. During this period, she continued to work assiduously, researching issues relating to human trafficking and spearheading the drafting of a Victims’ Protection Protocol. She was resolute in lobbying for the protection of victims, particularly, women and children who are amongst the most vulnerable to Human Trafficking.
A release from NATFATIP said Rev. Fowler made a significant contribution to raising awareness about human trafficking, especially among faith-based organisations.
Interest Rate Cut Again
Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is to further cut the policy interest rate (the rate offered on overnight placements with BOJ) by 25 basis points to 0.50 per cent, effective Wednesday, 28 August 2019. The Bank said, as with previous decisions to reduce interest rates, Bank of Jamaica’s decision Tuesday to lower the policy rate is intended to stimulate a faster expansion in private sector credit, which should lead to higher economic activity, consistent with the inflation target.
Shot On The Road
An auditor was shot dead in her car on Patrick Drive, Patrick City, off the Washington Boulevard, St Andrew, Tuesday morning, August 27. Dead is 27-year-old Renee Johnson, Reports are that men on a motorcycle came alongside her car and fired shots. Ms Johnson died on the scene. Police sources said it appeared to be a hit.