The Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) today, Friday, October 19, launched the first of a series of sanitation and clean-up campaigns in the busy Half-Way-Tree business district of St. Andrew.
In collaboration with the Island Traffic Authority, Ministry of Health, Jamaica Fire Brigade, as well as the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), firefighters from the Half-Way-Tree station power-hosed the heavily polluted Suthermere and Ellesmere Roads in the area – which also serve as dangerous, ‘open’ public urination hotspots.
The hosing-down activity targeted areas where the stench of urine, human waste and other garbage made travelling through Half-Way-Tree nauseating and unpleasant.
Speaking with the media, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Calvin Allen, head of the PSTEB said that it was a perfect time to demonstrate his branch’s commitment to restoring the health and sanity of Half-Way-Tree.
“What you’re seeing here is a collaborative approach as we seek to restore that amount of sanity within the corridors of Half-Way-Tree. Thanks to the Fire Brigade, we were able to power wash the area. Why? Because the area has been heavily [polluted] with human waste, mostly urine,” he explained.
“Why now? It is no better time; persons have been crying out for a long time and I am happy I was able to get the Fire Brigade to power wash the area so now is the best time. All the [other] entities are on board and we intend to continue this collaborative effort,” Allen added.
SSP Allen further argued that the wanton disregard shown by persons who utilize the area has led to a growing public health issue, which he saw fitting to address.
“It has presented a health hazard along this area; part of what we do at the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch is working towards greater order but also [for] the safety of our people. These are efforts that will continue,” the PSTEB boss asserted.
A stern warning was delivered by SSP Allen to men and women who continue to use public spaces to urinate across the city – reiterating that severe consequences are now in play that will result in instant arrests and prosecution.
“Anyone that is seen as at now, urinating in the public space will be arrested and taken to the courts forthwith. There are bathrooms in the [Mandela] Park for persons to utilize and so we’re encouraging them to [do so],” he said.
By Gavin Riley