Fri | Apr 26, 2019

Emergency clampdown has saved lives

Published:Wednesday | August 15, 2018 | 12:53 AMLee Bailey


I want to seize this opportunity to thank Prime Minister Andrew Holness on behalf of a number of persons, including domestic Jamaicans and some expatriates, who have come to me and expressed how safe they have felt in Montego Bay since the state of emergency was activated.

I also write because I thought it was necessary to place on record that it took real leadership skills and deliberate tenacity to make such a call, in spite of the contrary views from pundits and political rivals who claimed it would have negative consequences on the business community and tourism in general.

It is, therefore, my humble opinion that had this not been put in place, the rate of murder in Montego Bay could have escalated and may have even spilled over into the tourism sector. I would argue that the state of emergency took into consideration Jamaican lives first and indeed the security of our millions of visitors.

I am fully aware that a price cannot be placed on one’s life and strongly believe that if these measures were not put in place, the past six months could have seen the loss of more than a hundred lives in Montego Bay.

Perhaps it is this single action that has been responsible for the steady net growth in tourism during this period.

I wish now that the Ministry of National Security and various other stakeholders would use this opportunity to prepare for more sustainable security plans, especially after the state of emergency in St James is over, for it is possible that the miscreants are waiting to resurface.