Security cameras for MoBay parties

March 18, 2016
Mayor Glendon Harris
Sonny Ranking, event promoter in Montego Bay
@Normal:Some of the many persons who turned out for the Reggae Sumfest 2015 All-White party at Pier One, Montego Bay, St James, in July 2015.

The video lights beaming through parties in Montego Bay, St James, could very soon be more than just entertainment. Instead, the images being captured will also be for crime-fighting purposes.

"We are trying to implement a system where there are closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) in the area of the event so that we can pick up or solve any problem that may occur," Glendon Harris, mayor of Montego Bay, told THE WEEKEND STAR.

The mayor said party promoters in Montego Bay, St James, will be required to have CCTV cameras at entertainment venues before being granted an amusement licence.

Harris, who is chairman of the St James Parish Council, said a resolution has already been passed by councillors for the camera system to be implemented. He said that discussions are taking place with the police for the implementation of the system.

"It is to help us to make the entertainment events secure," Harris said.

Once dubbed the party capital of Jamaica, Montego Bay is now starved of real entertainment as promoters are shying away from staging events for fear that crime will cause them to flop.

Sonny Ranking, one of Montego Bay's deejays-turned-promoter, said the threat of gang violence in the western city causes many persons to stay home.

"People 'fraid to leave their yards because of this crime thing. It has nothing to do with unemployment because these boys and girls know how to get and save their money. They just don't know what can happen once dem leave dem yard," Ranking said.

The popular Montego Bay promoter, who for the past 20 years staged Valentine's Day Black and White parties and New Year's Eve balls, have called it a day, at least for now.

Giffery Lewis, another promoter, said crime has caused him to pull back from the party scene.

"I think I have called it a day where promotion is concerned. The crime makes it a major problem for people to leave their communities and go back home. Sometimes you see them in Sam Sharpe Square at night waiting until daylight so they can go home. They are afraid to go home in the dark," Lewis said.

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