By Gavin Riley
Mayor of Spanish Town Norman Scott says both telephone and internet systems have been down at the offices of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation since last week Friday, due to vandalism of FLOW Jamaica’s cables in the parish.
Scott, who was updating councillors during its general monthly meeting on Thursday, September 13, said that the disruption in service is largely due to “stolen and damaged cables in the area”.
Mayor Scott added that he has been in constant communication with FLOW to remedy the issue and was assured that technicians have been working tirelessly in that regard.
“I have been in touch with FLOW, who indicated they are working round the clock to curtail this issue,” he said.
The parish corporation is among over 8,000 FLOW customers in St. Catherine currently affected by widespread instances of vandalism of the telecommunication company’s infrastructure.
Two weeks ago, unscrupulous persons set fire to cables secured in a manhole in Central Village, FLOW said in a statement on Saturday, September 1.
In his address, Mayor Scott bemoaned the frequency at which the attacks continued, adding that while the practice is not endemic to Spanish Town – the presence of a ‘market for the stolen cables’ means that it will continue to affect everyone.
“I think the government needs to take some action. It’s happening too frequently. It’s not unique to Spanish Town, it’s happening all over Jamaica and I’m of the view that for this to be so frequent simply means something needs to be done sooner rather than later,” he argued.
In the meantime, the Mayor apologised on behalf of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation for the inconveniences caused and expressed hope that the matter will be sorted out quickly.
Additionally, Scott contended that sections of Spanish Town continue to suffer due to the theft of signage around the city.
“We have a similar problem with our road signs and I know that our citizens are inconvenienced by the lack of proper street signs. It is not because we have not erected these signs; as soon as they are replaced, they are removed,” Scott indicated, saying that ‘even the poles’ are taken in the process.
Mayor Scott again called on the Government to intervene with the crisis, noting that some perceive the scrap metal industry to be benefiting from the works of the vandals.