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NEGRIL, Westmoreland: August 31, 2014: As part of an ongoing effort to further enhance safety and security in resort areas island-wide, the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), has been pumping millions of dollars into boosting the crime fighting efforts of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The latest move in this initiative was the donation of three Yamaha motorcycles to the Negril police on Friday, August 29, 2014.
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, formally handed over the motorcycles by presenting the keys to Acting Assistant Commissioner for Area One, Gary Griffiths, at the Negril Police Station in Westmoreland.
Minister McNeill stressed that, “for the development of our economy as Jamaicans, we have to ensure that we can boost safety and security in our country.” He pointed out that an important part of crime fighting was the mobility of lawmen as “you can’t simply chase criminals on foot; you have to be mobile and it’s a problem that has to be resolved.”
For its part, over the past few years the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment has been collaborating with the Ministry of National Security to enhance crime fighting efforts.
In December 2013, 15 vehicles were donated to the security forces at a cost of over $45 million, matching a similar gesture the year before. Minister McNeill said, “in discussions with Minister Peter Bunting we again intend to look at the issue of motor vehicles for the police force this year because we recognize how important it is to have enhanced mobility.”
The decision to donate the Yamaha motorcycles arose out of a community meeting attended by Ministers Bunting and McNeill about three months ago when the issue of the mobility of the police to effectively patrol the Negril West End and the hills surrounding the resort town was raised.
The motorcycles donated to the Negril police are three of several acquired by the TEF at a cost of $4.3 million. The others are being distributed to other resort areas.
Minister McNeill pleaded with the riders that “while you have to be aggressive in your fight against crime, I must ask you to care the motorcycles, because we need to ensure that even as we are donating them, we are building our fleet.”
Acting ACP Griffiths expressed thanks for the “generous contribution” and reinforced that the motorcycles were well needed. Chairman of the Negril Resort Board, Cliff Reynolds, also welcomed the move to help the police in their crime fighting efforts and said the motorcycles should make a significant difference.