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    • The State of Public Emergency (SOE) in the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon has been extended for three months until January 18, 2020.
    • Approval was granted by Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 15.
    • Piloting the Resolution, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the rates of murders and shootings in St. Catherine and Clarendon have been reduced by 62 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively.

    The State of Public Emergency (SOE) in the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon has been extended for three months until January 18, 2020.

    Approval was granted by Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 15.

    Piloting the Resolution, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the rates of murders and shootings in St. Catherine and Clarendon have been reduced by 62 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively.

    He said over the period September 5, 2019 to October 8, 2019, reductions were recorded in all three Police Divisions in St. Catherine.

    The Prime Minister noted that murders and shootings in the Police Division of St. Catherine North have reduced by 69 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.

    He said murders and shootings in the Police Division of St. Catherine South have decreased by 36 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively.

    The Prime Minister also informed that murders and shootings in the Police Division of Clarendon have reduced by 80 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively.

    “So, in the 34 days in Clarendon, three murders were recorded, compared to 15 for the same period last year,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said a total of 1,145 persons were detained, of which 207 were arrested, while 86 remain in custody. He said 11 firearms and 106 rounds of ammunition have also been recovered.

    “There were 302 arrests and charges within the Division for varying offences, to include Breach of the Firearms Act, 35; Breach of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 32; murder, 10; shooting, 9; robbery, 10; and sexual offences, 20.

    He said in spite of the gains, the St. Catherine North Police Division recorded 70 murders, which reflect the sixth highest number of murders for the same period.

    Mr. Holness said cumulatively, the combined and contiguous geographical space of St. Catherine and Clarendon accounts for 27 per cent of murders in the country since the start of the year.

    “It’s very important to note that once the SOEs are put in place, they are effective, as murders and shootings go right down,” he said.

    The SOE gives the security forces temporary additional powers of search, arrest and detention.