Parliament Votes to Extend State of Emergency in St. Catherine North

Story Highlights

  • Members of the House of Representatives during its sitting yesterday (June 26) voted in favour of the resolution to extend the State of Public Emergency in St. Catherine North Police Division until August 2, 2018.
  • Prime Minister Andrew Holness who brought the resolution to Parliament said the enhanced security measures in the St. Catherine North Police Division have, so far, resulted in a 26 percent reduction in incidents of murder and shootings in the area.
  • “The presence, activities and influence of the security forces have not only curtailed gang influence but have also acted as a further deterrent to the commission of crimes in public spaces. It has also brought back a sense of law and order in communities,” said Prime Minister Holness.

Members of the House of Representatives during its sitting yesterday (June 26) voted in favour of the resolution to extend the State of Public Emergency in St. Catherine North Police Division until August 2, 2018.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness who brought the resolution to Parliament said the enhanced security measures in the St. Catherine North Police Division have, so far, resulted in a 26 percent reduction in incidents of murder and shootings in the area.

“The presence, activities and influence of the security forces have not only curtailed gang influence but have also acted as a further deterrent to the commission of crimes in public spaces. It has also brought back a sense of law and order in communities,” said Prime Minister Holness.

The Prime Minister went on to explain that it is within that context that an extension of the State of Public Emergency and the Emergency Powers Regulations should remain in force.

Prime Minister Holness said while the state of public emergency is not meant to be a permanent feature, additional time is needed to make further progress to ensure that the results will be lasting and positive in the lives of the Jamaican citizens, and to eradicate organised criminality.

“The next phase of our operations is not so much to go and detain the corner men; the next phase of the operation is to use the space created, the networks that we have uprooted to get to the mastermind and kingpins. We are in a different phase and you will start to see the impact in months to come,” stated Prime Minister Holness.

An extension of the period must be approved by both Houses of Parliament by resolution supported by a two thirds majority of all members of each House.

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