Hutchinson Calls for Increased Security Forces' Presence in Response to Arson in Westmoreland.
Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson, is calling for an immediate beefing up of the security forces' presence in Westmoreland where persons are setting cane fields in the parish on fire, as they are enraged by the circumstances under which a resident of the parish met his demise.
He said, “The situation is spiraling out of control as the fire is causing extensive damage to both privately held property of local farmers and acreage held by the Chinese owned Pan-Caribbean Sugar Company”. The Opposition Spokesman adds: "It is my understanding that the entire saga began when police personnel went in pursuit of an alleged arsonist, who they had reportedly witnessed setting fire to sugar crop in the field where he was spotted, and in his attempt to evade apprehension by way of motorcycle, crashed into a culvert, meeting his untimely demise."
The Spokesman continued: "While a wave of controversy ensues as to the circumstances under which the motor cyclist died, there can be no good reason for ostensibly aggrieved persons to take matters into their own hands and embark on a campaign of harrow and destruction. The contribution of cane farmers in Westmoreland is too valuable to domestic production and the overall development of the agricultural sector for this kind of mayhem and extensive loss to befall them."
Mr. Hutchinson concluded, “We are calling for increased presence by members of the security forces in the affected area to protect invaluable investments from further damage and or restore order. Further, the Opposition expresses condolences to the family and well-wishers of the deceased man, but we are also urging disgruntled residents suspected of perpetrating arson to immediately desist, let good sense prevail, and await the outcome of investigations into the circumstances under which the motor cyclist died”.