KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica Public Service (JPS) says streetlights in the Maxfield Avenue area have stopped working due to multiple instances of electricity theft.

 The issue has arisen exactly one month after collaborative efforts by JPS, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and residents of Maxfield Avenue, to keep streetlights free of illegal connections, according to a press release by the JPS.According to the light and power company, 34 or 40 per cent of the streetlights in the area have stopped functioning due to multiple instances of electricity theft. The streetlights are not designed to provide domestic power supply to homes for their electrical appliances – such as refrigerators and televisions, JPS said. They are therefore being destroyed due to the strain of persistent overloading.At the meeting, residents committed to stop connecting illegally to the streetlights as their actions are putting their community at risk, JPS said.They also reportedly committed to holding each other accountable, so as to clamp down on the practice.JPS said the illegal abstraction of electricity has incurred significant costs for the company, and that the company has carried out repairs on 85 streetlights, at a cost of J$2.16 million – and already 34 no longer work, due to breaches.

Additionally, the company said it pays US$5,000 to replace each burnt transformer. Three transformers have reportedly been destroyed in the last five weeks alone — due to power theft.JPS said some of its members and representatives and police personnel met with residents of the Maxfield community and local leadership on August 5 to hammer out the way forward, given the continued breaches of the streetlights and the resultant malfunctioning of these structures.[Jamaica Observer]