Cops reluctant to prosecute taxi, bus operators who support their business ventures - Creary
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
The Mayor of Port Maria Richard Creary has charged that some police personnel are involved in a popular business venture that has made them reluctant to prosecute public transport operators who flout the road traffic laws in the town centre.
As a result, Creary said there has been a sharp reduction in the revenues collected by the St Mary Municipal Corporation from tickets issued at the transportation centre.
The Mayor, who was speaking at the corporation’s monthly sitting on Thursday, said that he was left baffled after an attendant at the bus park reported that only $1,300 was collected “for the entire day Wednesday.”
According to him, the daily revenue collection “was in the region of $20,000 when the bus park was running properly and with the full cooperation of the police.”
Creary says he has been informed that in recent times some police personnel have become involved in a “round robin”, an informal agreement between a small group of business operators to host a party at their respective establishments at least once.
He charged that the parties are mainly supported by bus and taxi operators and “based on the proceeds being earned by them [police personnel], they are reluctant to prosecute taxi and mini bus operators.”
“All was well with the police, until a so-called ‘round robin’ started. As a result, the police have turned a blind eye on the violations caused by those public transport operators, who are spending large sums at round robins,” the mayor told the St Mary Municipal Corporation.
He said the transportation centre cannot continue to operate “in this manner.”
“We have to maintain the facility and also pay staff members. We had an agreement earlier where a single bus was allowed to load along Warner Street, after paying for a ticket in the bus park. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it was working,” Creary said.
He said the police later insisted that everyone had to use the bus park.
“Since then everything has fallen apart, as the police have simply turned a blind eye, resulting in taxi and mini bus operators loading just about anywhere.”
He urged the head of the St Mary Police to examine the situation.