RJR News / As the nation’s cops intensify their protest for increased wages, the parliamentary opposition is this evening urging the Andrew Holness administration to immediately re-engage the police to end the protest.
Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips is warning that the country’s national security is at risk if the protest persists.
“I think the entire country has a lot of sympathy for the police force and the other public sector works . Because up to now , from all the information that is available to us. The government has not been approaching the negotiations with seriousness. They are simply saying to the workers – take it or leave it. That’s not the way negotiations should be approached … they are being allowed to lag on the sidelines while we are facing the worst crime wave ever in our history,” Phillips said.
Police Commissioner George Quallo has sought to assure the country that contingency measures are being implemented to protect the nation’s security.
In a message posted on twitter, the Commissioner disclosed that an internal assessment in the JCF shows that approximately one thousand Rank and File members have called in sick.
“Although our numbers are low we are committed to ensuring your safety this festive season.We recognise the apprehension amongst our citizenry, but will be along the roadways, shopping centers, village squares and we will attend to all calls for service”
The Commissioner’s tweet comes on day two of an islandwide sick out by rank and file members of the police force.
The police have rejected the government’s six per cent offer over two years.
The Police Federation has written to Prime Minister Andrew Holness seeking his intervention in the dispute.
Meanwhle, the Area Four Headquarters is reporting an increase in the number of cops calling in sick.
Area Four comprises of Kingston Eastern, Kingston Central, Kingston Western, St Andrew Southern and St Andrew Central.
Commanding Officer for Area Four, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Blake said he will not be disclosing the figures of those reporting sick because this could be a threat to safety and security.
However, he said the Jamaica Defence Force and Justices of the Peace have been assisting to mitigate the impact of the sick-out on it’s crime fighting strategies
Justices of the Peace have been assisting with manning the stations along with police officers.
Grand Market – security in place
The police have assured the public that adequate security personnel will be in place for Grand Market night which will be held tonight.
“I would just ask persons to be extra vigilant. Go out and enjoy yourself, be assured that the police will be there. We will provide all the necessary security to ensure that you have a safe and peaceful holiday,” Blake said.