ZOSOs to Be Extended

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) in Mt. Salem, St. James; and Denham Town in Kingston are to be extended by another 60 days.
  • The time allotted for both zones will expire this month. Operations are slated to come to an end in Denham Town and Mt. Salem on December 15 and 29, respectively. This would be the second extension granted for the Mt. Salem zone, which was the first to become operational on September 1.
  • The Prime Minister said both zones have “yielded unquestionable results”, noting that there has been no report of murders in any of the zones, no report of serious crimes, and no report of abuse by any State actors in either zone.

The Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) in Mt. Salem, St. James; and Denham Town in Kingston are to be extended by another 60 days.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday (December 6) approved a motion requesting the extension, which was moved by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

Mr. Holness noted that additional time is needed to facilitate social-intervention activities that require long-term focus, as well as infrastructural investment.

The time allotted for both zones will expire this month. Operations are slated to come to an end in Denham Town and Mt. Salem on December 15 and 29, respectively. This would be the second extension granted for the Mt. Salem zone, which was the first to become operational on September 1.

The zones were established under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, which was passed in Parliament earlier in the year.

The law seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives.

The Prime Minister said both zones have “yielded unquestionable results”, noting that there has been no report of murders in any of the zones, no report of serious crimes, and no report of abuse by any State actors in either zone.

“Since the declaration of zones, two communities that have previously been exposed to intolerable levels of crime and criminal influence are now experiencing peace, protection by the State, safety from gang violence, and security where insecurity was previously abundant. This is a successful model that is worth repeating,” he said.

The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act gives the Prime Minister power to declare an area a Zone of Special Operations in order to tackle increased crime and volatility in a community. This is in consultation with the National Security Council.

The Zone can only be established after the Police Commissioner and the Chief of Defence Staff make a request for such a declaration in writing to the Prime Minister.

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