Five buses were damaged and two persons injured in a spate of stone throwing incidents in Three Miles, St. Andrew last evening. A driver and a female passenger were wounded from windshield fragments to their eyes. Their condition is not considered life threatening.
In recent weeks, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) has come under increased attacks by vandals. In Three Miles alone, the JUTC has recorded 29 incidents. Of that number, 19 occurred last month. With less than two months to go before the close of the year, there are 69 stone-throwing incidents. The windshield and side glass were mainly damaged in these incidents. In 2020, the Company recorded 63 stone-throwing incidents for the entire year.
Over the period, the company embarked on numerous initiatives aimed at curbing the incidents but with limited success. This morning at an emergency meeting to discuss the latest developments, Managing Director Paul Abrahams said the damage to the five buses at the same location requires special security intervention. “We have to take some bold decisions as the vandalism of our buses in quick succession is affecting our operations and our ability to serve the commuting public. These attacks seem to be deliberate and coordinated and as such we must further engage the Police High Command with a view to immediately arresting this serious problem,” Mr. Abrahams noted.
The JUTC Managing Director also instructed that with the scale of the matter, even more strident measures have to be taken to include the use of private security contractors and the use of technology.
It was suggested that a temporary suspension of service in the location be done, but this was placed on hold pending an assessment of the number of people that would be affected.
In the short to medium term, the Managing Director has given instructions for the re-engagement of Crime Stop to assist us in arresting this problem.
Hotspot areas for stone throwing incidents include sections of Three Miles, Bull Bay, Marcus Garvey Drive, Windward road in the vicinity of Paradise Street and Vauxhall High School, (note portmore) and Spanish Town Road.