$47 million to replace streetlights stolen last year

Desmond McKenzie
It will cost taxpayers more than $47 million to replace streetlights stolen in the last year alone.
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie says unscrupulous people are preying on the network, stealing more than 723 lights from last April to March this year.
He said the $47 million the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) spent to replace them will have to be repaid with tax dollars.
According to Mr. McKenzie, the Chesterfield main road in St. Andrew is one of the problem areas, having been cleared of its lights for the fourth time, resulting in a cost of US$16,000. 
On three prior occasions, a total of 32 lights along with 3,200 metres of service wire were stolen at an overall cost of more than US$50,000. 
Mr. McKenzie said the authorities are also having problems along the Hellshire main road in St. Catherine "where 15 lights [and] 1500 metres of service wire were stolen all at once, in one night". This loss amounted to US$7,000. 
"It is clear that these criminal acts require the police response," Mr. McKenzie warned as he made his presentation in the Sectoral Debate on Wednesday afternoon in the House of Representatives.
The minister said the JPS installed more than 700 new streetlights last year and repaired more than 13,000.
He also noted that the government no longer owes the JPS for provision of electricity for streetlights.

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