National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang has revealed that the Government will be setting up a permanent branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Mobile Reserve Unit in Montego Bay, St James, in an effort to increase security presence in western Jamaica.
Chang, in a press statement, said that the unit is expected to be established before the end of the current fiscal year and will be based at the Montego Hills Police Station, located on the outskirts of the western city.
He said further that the unit, which will be named Mobile Reserve West, will be staffed with approximately 250 police personnel and will operate primarily in crime hot spots across western Jamaica.
Chang said that the Government will be acquiring lands adjacent to the police station to build barracks to house police personnel who will be assigned to the unit.
The national security minister also said that there are plans to upgrade the physical structure of the Montego Hills Police Station to bring it in line with the standard of the Kingston-based Mobile Reserve Unit.
He argues that with the exponential growth that the country is now witnessing in tourism, it is important that the security forces are equipped to break the back of crime, especially in western Jamaica.
“What we are looking at is part of the response to the security forces challenges. We have to look at the current deployment and establishment of the police force, which doesn’t have an establishment as such, which is something we are correcting,” Chang argued.
“What’s happening in Montego Bay is not just a high crime rate. Montego Bay is the fastest growth area in the economy over the last 40 years through tourism and the BPO sector.”