SOEs declared for Hanover, St. James and Clarendon
The government has declared States of Emergency, SOEs for Hanover, St. James and Clarendon in response to the surge in criminal activities in those divisions.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness in making the announcement, emphasized the government’s commitment to safeguarding the lives of innocent citizens.
The SOEs are for an initial period of 14 days and commenced at 12:01 this morning.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson explains that Clarendon has witnessed a significant increase in murders and shooting incidents, with a 67 per cent increase in murders and a 41 per cent increase in shooting incidents as at May 14, compared to the same period last year.
For the St. James division, Commissioner Anderson reports that “although experiencing a decline in murders by 27 per cent, St. James still has the highest number of murders across all police divisions, with a total of 69 recorded.
The division also had the fourth highest number of shooting incidents, with 34 incidents during the same period last year.”
Meantime, Hanover witnessed the highest increase in murders, with a 75 per cent rise as at May 14, compared to the same period in 2022.
In the meantime, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, is urging citizens to see the enhanced security measure as an opportunity to join the fight against criminality.
The authorities say the State of Public Emergency enables the security forces to conduct targeted operations aimed at disrupting and dismantling criminal gangs and their networks and preventing serious crimes.
The government is reassuring the public that the safety and security of all Jamaicans remains its utmost priority.