Chang pitches ENDS as crime cure

Published:Tuesday | April 6, 2021 | 12:21 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

From left: Senator Matthew Samuda, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security; Dr Horace Chang, minister of national security; jerk vendor Oneisha Brown (Nikkin Chop); and Spring Gardens Division Councillor Dwight Crawford interact dur

From left: Senator Matthew Samuda, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security; Dr Horace Chang, minister of national security; jerk vendor Oneisha Brown (Nikkin Chop); and Spring Gardens Division Councillor Dwight Crawford interact during a tour of participating locations under ENDS along Montego Bay’s Hip Strip yesterday.

WESTERN BUREAU:

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang believes that the piloted E-commerce National Delivery Solution (ENDS) linking customers in St Andrew; Portmore, St Catherine; and Montego Bay, St James, with food service providers during the weekend lockdowns will eventually help to lower criminal activity and sustain economic growth.

“There are two aspects to this programme, as in the medium term, what we are looking at is keeping the economy turning. Once there is increased economic activity, it will mean less crime and fewer people on the road where they could get caught up in illegitimate activity,” Chang said yesterday following a meeting with jerk chicken vendors and restaurant operators in Montego Bay, who have signed up with ENDS.

“Keeping the economy going in the face of what is happening is very important, and it does contribute to public order and reducing crime and criminal activity, and that is the first power of this programme,” added Chang.

While acknowledging that the new system will result in some reshuffling of police officers, Chang said that the ENDS programme will allow people to spend more time with their families.

“In the modern world, where work is very demanding, a father who has to spend two hours in a line at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is better off spending that time with his son doing homework and other things, and carrying out his role as a father figure. It does create a better family atmosphere, and it provides additional employment for service-delivery people, so there is a win-win situation here,” said Chang.

He commending the police and citizens for compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions over the last two weekends.

Up to March 30, murders across the island had increased by five per cent year on year, with 368 people killed since January 1, compared to 451 for the corresponding period last year. However, robberies (-15%) were down, while the number of shootings were even at 318 for both periods.

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