JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Bertel Moore, says the State of Public Emergency (SOE) that was declared in Westmoreland in April is curbing crime and violence in the parish.
  • In an interview with JIS News, Councillor Moore said that based on the information he has received, the SOE is working.
  • On April 30, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, declared States of Public Emergency (SOEs) in the parishes of St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Councillor Bertel Moore, says the State of Public Emergency (SOE) that was declared in Westmoreland in April is curbing crime and violence in the parish.

In an interview with JIS News, Councillor Moore said that based on the information he has received, the SOE is working.

On April 30, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, declared States of Public Emergency (SOEs) in the parishes of St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

On May 7, the House of Representatives approved the extension of the SOEs by 90 days.

Mr. Moore told JIS News that while some business persons were initially concerned about the early closing hours, they are satisfied with the implementation of the SOE and feel more comfortable conducting business with the increased presence of the security forces.

Councillor Moore also underscored that feedback from citizens in the parish indicates that they feel much safer with the SOE in effect.

The Mayor noted that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were carrying out operations to minimise the amount of crowded areas in the parish, as well as to ensure that vendors are selling in the designated areas.

“They are doing some operations in Savanna-la-Mar, in collaboration with the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, to get persons off the streets, especially in the downtown areas where there are vendors [selling] outside the market,” the Mayor informed.

The SOEs give the security forces temporary additional powers, including powers of search, arrest and detention.

During the SOEs, the security forces have the power to search, curtail operating hours of business, restrict access to places and detain persons without a warrant.