State of Public Emergency Endorsed By Wide Cross Section of the Society-PM

Photo: Garwin Davis Prime Minister the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness (left) in dialogue with Commissioner of Police, George Quallo (right) during a tour of sections of St. James, on January 27. Looking on is Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake.

Story Highlights

  • The Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says the decision to declare a State of Public Emergency in St. James wasn’t unilateral, but one that was endorsed by a wide cross section of the society.
  • “Many persons in this room would have appealed, whether directly or indirectly, some in writing, some by telephone calls…some by media statements…articles and otherwise,” Mr. Holness said.
  • “I do understand that there are some jitters, but I do want to reassure you that we did not take an action that was not instrumental. We did not take an action that wasn’t planned or thought out…and that has a layered strategy. Simply put there are other things that will follow,” he added.

The Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says the decision to declare a State of Public Emergency in St. James wasn’t unilateral, but one that was endorsed by a wide cross section of the society.

He made the remarks as he addressed the media at the Freeport Police Station in St. James, following a tour of sections of Montego Bay on January 27.

“Many persons in this room would have appealed, whether directly or indirectly, some in writing, some by telephone calls…some by media statements…articles and otherwise,” Mr. Holness said.

“I do understand that there are some jitters, but I do want to reassure you that we did not take an action that was not instrumental. We did not take an action that wasn’t planned or thought out…and that has a layered strategy. Simply put there are other things that will follow,” he added.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a State of Public Emergency in the parish of St. James on January 18.

The constitution provides that a period of public emergency can be declared by a proclamation if the Governor-General is satisfied that action has been taken or is immediately threatened by any person or body of person in such a nature and on so extensive a scale as likely to endanger public safety.

Last year, 335 murders were recorded in St. James, which is twice the number of any other parish.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness noted that the Government is serious about tackling crime, adding that it has become “a weight on the economy and it is in my opinion, the major obstacle for us in achieving growth.”

JIS Social