Public Defender, Arlene Harrison Henry, says since the imposition of the State of Public Emergency in St. James at least three distinct Montego Bays have emerged.
She was speaking this week at Parliament’s Internal and External Affairs Committee.
She’s suggesting that public perception outside of the parish may reflect the realities of only one of these Montego Bays.
The country has often heard of the two different Jamaica’s which exist due to what is seen systemic classism.
Public Defender, Arlene Harrison Henry, says a similar scenario is playing out under the State of Public Emergency in St. James.
However, Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine, Alando Terrelonge, expressed some surprise at this revelation from the Public Defender.
He says visiting Pier One in the western capital in his capacity of State Minister for Entertainment gave him a much different experience.
He says when looking at the country’s current crime statistics the Parliament should not be ashamed to have taken action to extend the State of Public Emergency.
But, Mrs. Harrison Henry says his comments only prove her point.
And, the Public Defender expressed concern that a lack of identification is being treated as a crime under the State of Public Emergency. She told Parliament’s Internal and External Affairs Committee, that men are having their detentions lengthened for not having identification.
East Central St. Catherine MP, Alando Terrelonge, argued this proves there’s a need for the proposed National Identification System, NIDS.
However, Central Manchester MP, Peter Bunting, says this behavior is eerily similar to the former apartheid regime in South Africa.