Bearers clear their names
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
With motorcyclists increasingly linked to several crimes in the Corporate Area, members of the United Riders' Club are going all out to distance themselves from criminality.
Stanley Dennis, president of the organisation, said it is preparing a proper identification profile for its affiliates. They are also seeking dialogue with senior members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to prevent cases of mistaken identity.
"I'm not aware of bearers robbing people, but I am aware of persons impersonating bearers and committing robberies," Dennis said. "The thing is, bearers are getting a bad name."
Inspector Ralph Barrett of the New Kingston police station confirmed theft involving motorcyclists is commonplace in that area which is regarded as Jamaica's commercial centre.
"We know of bearers being robbed large sums of monies and persons being robbed by cyclists when they leave banks or business places," Barrett said.
Barrett did not have statistics for these crimes but said his precinct has increased patrols throughout New Kingston and nearby neighbourhoods.
This is not the first time the United Riders' Club has sought exclusive identification for members, many of whom are self-employed. Two years ago, Dennis said the matter was discussed extensively during meetings but there was no follow-up.
It was not until June that things began getting off the ground.
13 years of existence
"We looked at it again and came to the conclusion that, with so many riders out there, anything can happen," Dennis said.
The United Riders' Club was formed 13 years ago after bearers found themselves meeting up at funerals of colleagues who had died in accidents.
They decided to start an organisation which would address issues such as getting adequate insurance, especially for riders without staff benefits.
The organisation now has 56 members who meet weekly at their St Andrew base. They have been addressed by officers from the JCF, the Jamaica Defence Force and the medical fraternity.