Prime Minister (PM) Andrew Holness declared a State of Emergency (SOE) for the parish of St. Catherine. This announcement was made during a press conference earlier this morning, June 17, at Jamaica House and is due to the recent upsurge in gang violence across the capital.
“The Government has to act. The Government cannot sit by and see innocent Jamaicans going about their business…having to be scurrying for their lives. The government has to act. That is the government’s duty,” said PM Holness.
Additionally, the Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson stated that there are currently 12 active gangs in the parish and concurred with the statements made by Holness to say that there is evidence to prove that the (SOE) is an effective measure in reducing crime.
The Member of Parliament (MP), Olivia “Babsy” Grange for St. Catherine Central has also dismissed reports that the ‘One Order Gang’ is responsible for the recent upheavals in the old capital. She indicated that the violence stems from members of an adjoining community.
Since this week, several persons have been killed including a woman who was shot at her home after it is believed that she is the mother of a gang member. Six persons were fatally shot on Tuesday including two bodies discovered along a dirt track in McCook’s Pen community. A member of the JDF was also shot dead at his home in Central Village.