Fri | Apr 20, 2018

Letter of the Day | Sandz axe must fall on Quallo's head

Published:Friday | January 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I believe that several of the persons commenting on the eight-hour road blockage along the Palisadoes strip on New Year's Day are seeking to allocate blame to persons who ought not to be blamed. However, we wish to look at this matter, we cannot avoid questioning the role of the police.

The commissioner of police - and no one else - is to be held responsible for the blockage. The commissioner of police has the primary responsibility of enforcing law and order in Jamaica.

Whether there was a proper permit or not for Sandz to have its party is of no relevance to what transpired. The commissioner of police, having learnt that the road to our major airport had been blocked, should have immediately taken steps to clear the road. And if he had to close down Sandz in order to do so, that is what he should have done.

The commissioner should have seen the situation as a threat to the national security and the stability of the state of Jamaica. As such, he should have gone the extra mile and requested the army to provide air asset, that is, helicopters, to fly police personnel and, possibly, soldiers to the location to lock down the sound system and close the party and clear the road. If helicopters were not available, the Coastguard or marine police could assist with transporting officers by sea to the venue.

The main road was closed for some eight hours. This is unacceptable and should just never have been allowed to happen. There was an air of uncertainty and timidity about the way the police handled the situation. There was indecision, if not fear, on the part of the police. The police retreated from their responsibility.

Jamaica has been embarrassed and humiliated by the operators of Sandz, who apparently were busy maximising profits, oblivious to the national interest.

The police commissioner and his officers should give a commitment to us that they will never ever allow anyone to block any main road or any other location or institution where the blockage constitutes a threat to the security of Jamaica. The buck stops with him!

LINTON P. GORDON

Ocho Rios, St Ann

lpgordon@cwjamaica.com