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Story Highlights

  • The States of Public Emergency (SOE) continue to make an impact in lowering crime and violence in the country.
  • Overall, there was a 72 per cent reduction in category-one crimes, which include murder, shooting, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, break-ins and larceny.
  • Turning to the St. Andrew South SOE, which was declared on July 7, 2019, Mr. Holness said for the approximately 284 days since its implementation, there has been a seven per cent reduction in murders from 133 to 124 and a 16 per decline in shootings when compared to the preceding 284 days.

The States of Public Emergency (SOE) continue to make an impact in lowering crime and violence in the country.

In the East Kingston Division, where an SOE was declared on January 26, 2020, an examination of the impact on the level of crime shows a drop in murders and shootings, as compared to the period immediately prior to its implementation.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, gave the statistics in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (April 21), while seeking support for resolutions to extend the SOEs.

He noted that the East Kingston Division experienced an overall reduction in murders of 89 per cent, moving from 28 to 3, while shootings dropped by 91 per cent from 22 to 2.

Overall, there was a 72 per cent reduction in category-one crimes, which include murder, shooting, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, break-ins and larceny.

In addition, 592 people were detained, of which 582 were released.

For the parishes of Clarendon and St. Catherine, for which an SOE was declared on September 5, 2019, Mr. Holness said for the 224 days, there was an overall reduction in murders and shootings of 30 per cent, moving from 241 to 168.

He added that shootings dropped by 36 per cent, from 213 to 136 as compared to the same period immediately preceding.

There was an overall reduction of 22 per cent for all category-one crimes, moving from 911 to 714. Also, a total 4,137 people were detained with 4,107 released.

Turning to the St. Andrew South SOE, which was declared on July 7, 2019, Mr. Holness said for the approximately 284 days since its implementation, there has been a seven per cent reduction in murders from 133 to 124 and a 16 per decline in shootings when compared to the preceding 284 days.

There was an overall three per cent reduction in category-one crimes over the period. A total of 2,091 persons were detained, of which 2,011 were released.

“This is probably the smallest of the SOEs that are in place, but the intensity of crime in this area is reflected in the number of detainees and the marginal reduction in murders. The police have redoubled their efforts in the area… . This is a very difficult area and if there is one SOE we should keep, it should be the St. Andrew South SOE,” Mr. Holness said.

Meanwhile, for the SOE in Hanover, St. James, and Westmoreland that came into effect on April 30, 2019, the Prime Minister informed that for the 352 days, the tri-parish areas experienced an overall decline in murders by 25 per cent and a 28 per cent reduction in shootings.

A total of 3,275 persons were detained, of which 3,187 were released and 88 remain in custody.

The House of Representatives approved the extensions of the SOEs to July 25, with 44 members voting in favour of the measures and two against.

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