JIS News

The Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) have been extended for a further 60 days.

The areas are Denham Town, West Kingston; Norwood and Mount Salem, St. James; and Greenwich Town and August Town in St. Andrew.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday (October 13) approved Resolutions for the extensions, which were moved by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.

The Minister said that the ZOSOs are an important part of the arsenal of measures that the Government is utilising to address crime, noting that the enhanced security operations save lives.

“The heavily armed criminals who are terrorising our people must be met with an equally empowered security force if we are to achieve sustainable reduction in crime and violence,” Dr. Chang said, noting that the safety and security of Jamaicans is of paramount importance and a matter of continued urgency for the Government of Jamaica.

Giving an update on the interventions being undertaken within the communities, he said that these are at different stages of the ‘clear-hold-build’ strategy.

“Mount Salem and Denham Town will continue in the ‘build phase’, August Town and Greenwich Town will continue the ‘hold phase’ while Norwood will continue the ‘clear phase’ of the strategy,” he pointed out.

During the hold phase, the strategy is to create an environment in which the State’s presence can be effectively re-established, thereby reducing the opportunity and capacity for criminals to commit crime.

The build phase of ZOSOs is aimed at reversing social and cultural factors that give rise to crime and violence while the clear phase aims to remove gangs from the community.

In supporting the Resolutions, Opposition Spokesperson on Education and Training, Angela Brown Burke, said “where the ZOSOs exist, we know that individuals have seen improvements”.

The ZOSO Act is a critical component of the suite of modern legislation geared towards creating a framework for sustainable development and community renewal.

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