Newly created police division to ensure order
Friday, August 31, 2018
POLICE Commissioner Antony Anderson promises, when school reopens next week, members of the more than 300-strong Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) will be out in their numbers to ensure a smooth traffic flow, especially along the major corridors under repair.
He was speaking at the PSTEB's launch held at Harman Barracks in Vineyard Town, St Andrew, on Wednesday. The division will be headquartered on Elleston Road.
“We're launching this at perhaps the worst of times. A lot of our busiest roads in our country are being worked on which has caused major disruptions over the summer period. Come next week when school opens and everybody is back on .... it's going to be critical what we do. I know we've been meeting with other stakeholders like the National Works Agency to work out how we do this. But central and pivotal to good outcomes is what this branch does,” Anderson told the audience which included Dr Horace Chang, minister of national security; Dr Fitz Jackson, opposition spokesman on national security; and Kenute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining; as well as members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). “So under the worst of circumstances, the eyes of the nation will be upon us.”
There are currently four major thoroughfares being rehabilitated. These are: Marcus Garvey Drive; Mandela Highway (from Six Miles to Ferry); Constant Spring Road (from Manor Park to Eastwood Park Road intersection); and Hagley Park Road (from Maxfield Avenue to Three Miles).
Mandela Highway and Constant Spring Road are the first and second most heavily used traffic corridor in Jamaica, respectively. The latter sees up to 4,500 vehicles on a daily basis.
The PTSEB is a merger of the JCF's Motorised Patrol and the Traffic and Highway divisions aimed at improving social order and safe public spaces; improving compliance to the Road Traffic Act; and reducing crime in public spaces.
“Initially, we're rolling out in Kingston and St Andrew. We'll be in Spanish Town, then we'll be in Montego Bay and over time we'll grow so this presence will be felt all across the entire country,” he said.
A former major general in the JDF, Anderson was appointed to the position of police commissioner in March. He said he had every confidence in the 151-year-old entity and could also rely on the military for added support.
“This is nothing to be concerned about because you (PSTEB members) are trained and very capable of doing this properly. We will have support from other (JCF) units as required. If necessary, there is the national service persons from the Jamaica Defence Force who can also be called upon to assist. But largely and centrally, this group is going to be at the pivotal point to ensure public safety and security and traffic enforcement.”
The top cop said, initially there will be a spike in the number of tickets issued as well as in the number of prosecutions over time. But this would falloff as motorists conform to the requirements of the law.
“Persons doing the right thing have nothing to be concerned about and persons who are determined to be the wrong things should be concerned because we will consistently and professionally carry out our duties. This is one of the critical pillars and strategies as we move forward to deal with crime. Where there's order, there's less opportunity for crime to take place. Where there's visibility, there's less opportunity for crime to take place,” he added.