In a speech broadcast across the nation, Jamaica’n’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness confirms more SOEs and outlines how he plans to combat Jamaica’s crime issues. Despite its small size, the Caribbean island has been plagued by crime for decades now and only seems to be getting even more worst. The Governor General has declared several states of emergency (SOE) just this year alone in an effort to tackle the crime surge.
The Prime Minster started his speech by confirming the declaration of full-scale states of emergency for parishes such as Clarendon, St. Ann, Kingston & St. Andrew, St. Catherine, St. James, Westmoreland, and Hannover. Patrick Allen, who holds the title of Governor-General, declared the measures on Wednesday, December 28, after being notified by the Prime Minister that the decision was necessary and appropriate.
According to the Prime Minister, his administration has had reasonable success from the recently declared SOEs regarding controlling the level of murders leading up to and during the festive season. He admitted that the threat level remains elevated for organized robberies, scams, contract killings, hijackings of goods in transit, and gang conflict. All of which contribute to the high crime rate in the country.
Additionally, the Prime Minister read out some statistics to show that the declaration of a state of emergency has helped in reducing criminal activity and saving lives in the area. Andrew Holness went on to outline how his administration would go about stemming the crime tide which sees Jamaica recording four(4) murders on average per-day.
”The government has to maximize and use all lawful means to multiply and project its security resources… Not only to investigate and interdict after the occurrence of a crime or loss of life but to increase presence to deter criminals and to conduct various operations to pre-empt them,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister says his administration continues to work on new laws, including the firearms act, to discourage criminals. He also declared it was the responsibility and duty of his office to save life and “show criminals who is in charge.”
The leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) went on to state that his government will continue to be relentless in its effort to reduce crime. The Prime Minister said in a concluding statement, “We will continue to use all measures available to us. We will use the SOE’s when necessary.”
Watch the press conference below.