JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says zones of special operations (ZOSOs) are to be rolled out into an additional 20 communities across the island.

He made the disclosure during the sitting of the House of Representatives on October 16, where a resolution extending the zone in Mount Salem, St. James, for a period of 60 days, was approved.

Mount Salem was declared as Jamaica’s first ZOSO in September 2017, with a zone established in Denham Town, Kingston, in October of the same year.

“The two zones that we have are what we would call now the test cases. We have had a year and some months to study them, to see the shortfalls… to see what legislative changes need to be made, and, yes, there are more zones coming,” Prime Minister Holness said.

“But because the engagements are not short-term, they have to be planned properly. We don’t want to go and implement a ZOSO that is not adequately funded – where we know where we are going with it – and adequately resourced in terms of manpower,” he added.

Mr. Holness also pointed out that the “Ministry of Finance and the Public Service already knows what the outlay will be and how that will have to be programmed”.

A ZOSO can be declared under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act.

The law seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives in communities where a zone operates.