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Another state of emergency extended in Jamaica

PICTURED: Andrew Holness

JAMAICA'S PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has confirmed the extension of a state of emergency in St Catherine, Jamaica.

All 47 members who were present at the House of Representatives voted in favour of the extension, while sixteen members were absent.

Addressing the House, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, said the enhanced security measures in the St. Catherine North Police Division have resulted in a 68 per cent reduction in murders and shootings.

“Since the intervention, that is for the period March 18 to September 2, the division has recorded 27 murders and 22 shootings…when compared to the equivalent period of time, prior to the state of emergency,” he said.

“82 murders and 72 shootings were recorded over a period of 168 days prior to the state of emergency, so that would be from the first of January 2018 to the calling of the state of emergency.”

According to Caribbean 360, Holness said the request for a further extension was based on the recommendation of the security forces.

“This is deemed to be necessary to satisfy the short- to medium-term objectives of the special measure. Importantly, it will reinforce the pillars of transformation that will be seen as part of the long-term results of these actions,” he noted.

He said the security forces are moving to transform their operations to a more “investigation-based strategy”.

“We are gathering greater intelligence; we are building greater networks of cooperation in the communities and, ultimately, it is this better policing that will lead to the sustainable reduction in crime,” Holness noted.

The Prime Minister assured that the state of emergency is not a long-term solution.

“I know that we cannot rely on this forever. There comes a time when the expenditure to have an elevated level of police presence yields little result. What we don’t want, however, is for the criminals to ever get in their minds that the Government will not use extraordinary powers to address the threat that they pose,” he said.

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