Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the newly declared Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in August Town in Kingston reflects the continued commitment of the Government to bring peace, safety and security to the country, especially in areas that have been described as ‘hotspots’.
“This Government has articulated both in its Plan Secure Jamaica and in the growth programme that the Zones of Special Operations will be a very important tool in addressing the social and economic issues in a number of very challenged communities,” he said.
“It is a new mechanism or a more appropriate mechanism to deal with the social and economic challenges, because we provide a safe and secure foundation on which to effect the transformation that is required to bring about peace and safety in these communities,” the Minister added.
Dr. Chang was speaking on Wednesday (July 8), at a virtual press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre in Kingston, where Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, announced the island’s latest ZOSO.
According to the Security Minister, the implementation of the ZOSO in the community reflects a commitment to not only ensure that the community will have various interventions but also a secure foundation for all the interventions.
“When the citizens feel safe it will increase their cooperation with the police and we will be able to disrupt the gangs, find them, prosecute them and get them off the streets and ensure the process of rebuilding and transforming August Town into a dynamic residential community, where individuals can achieve their dreams and live a better quality of life,” he said.
The community has seen a flare-up of gang violence in recent weeks and according to the Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, seven people had been killed in the community and 14 others shot and injured since the start of the year.
According to the Commissioner, all the murders in the community were committed by people using guns, and all were gang-related.