MoBay bus park manager wants police to address loitering
Vince Young, manager at Montego Bay Transport Centre, is calling on the leadership of the St. James police to create a special police unit to address student loitering in both the transport centre and on the streets of the western city.
According to Young, despite the efforts of principals across the region, who recently visited the transport centre as a group to get a first-hand view of the loitering, the students continue to be nonchalant in defiance of the effort to get them to go off to school in a timely manner in the mornings and not to hang around the city in the afternoons.
“Most mornings, or I should say every school morning, we have the same situation,” said Young. “I think we should have some school police, have some police come into the park by 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. … they will be doing police duties yes, but they will be paying special attention to students, as it relates to going to school.”
“I think that would solve the problem, have police in the park in the morning, and have them instruct the student, direct them in terms of transportation … we need some school police,” added Young.
During the month of January, the principals of high schools across St James launched an anti-student loitering programme, but according to Young, the initiative only lasted a few days, and now the students are back to their old ways.
“Well, I would say that in the first week, it looked a little improved, but following that, we still had the same problem,” said Young. “Things have gone back to where it was before.”
NOT ABLE TO HANDLE
Young said the police officers who now operate inside the park are not able to handle the loitering issue alongside their regular duties because of the large number of students, so he thinks the way to handle the situation is to have a dedicated team to handle only loitering.
“Just this morning, police had to intervene in student affairs, in terms of having them take vehicles that they normally would not take,” said Young. “They would be waiting for special vehicles, especially the Hopewell High School students, and there were some altercations in the park, and the police intervened and put them on taxis and buses to just get them out of the park.”
Like Young, Dale Bingham, who drives a coaster van that transports students from Montego Bay to Lucea, supports the idea of having a police unit to address loitering. He would also like to see action taken against those transport operators who facilitate student indiscipline.
“Most of the students don’t drive on my bus, because they don’t really love the bus that has too much discipline,” said Bingham said. “The police need to lock up the driver who encourages bad behaviour by the students and lures them to their vehicle with dirty music and having girls sitting in boys’ laps.”