Prime Minister Andrew Holness shared an address during a conference at Jamaica House this morning that indicated the start of a State of Emergency (SOE) across several parishes in the country.
PM Holness stated, “Governor General, the most honourable Sir Patrick Allen, declared a State of Public Emergency in the parishes of Clarendon, St. Catherine, and specified areas in the parish of Kingston and St. Andrew.” He also mentioned that St. James, Westmoreland, and Hanover are also parishes in which a state of emergency was declared.
The declarations are separated into two, one being for the southern crescent while the other is for the western tri-parishes. They were issued with the reason of combating the increased rate of murders recorded in the parishes since the start of the year.
According to Major General Antony Anderson, he divulged that, “As at November 13, we have had a total of 1,360 murders in Jamaica. It’s really at that point an increase of 6.8 per cent over last year,” he said. “The main drivers of these violent crimes continue to be gang violence which accounts for 71 per cent of all murders and interpersonal conflicts which account for another 16 per cent of all murders.”
The Prime Minister also mentioned that as it is close to the Christmas season, special efforts to maintain order will require resources that the government may not be able to afford, and thus preemptive measures will be the best course of action.
Holness shared that the government, “on the advice of the security chiefs, decided to advise the Governor General that it was necessary…to declare States of Public Emergency in these areas.”
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