JIS News

Members of the public are being asked to exercise patience and comply with the security forces as they carry out enhanced operations in St. Catherine for which a Public State of Emergency (SOE) has been declared.

This appeal comes from Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, who noted that within the boundaries of the SOE, the suite of operations being undertaken will see increased presence and movements of the security forces.

“We will attempt to manage the impact of our activities on persons going about their normal business. However, there’s likely to be some disruption and delays, and we ask for your patience and understanding as we collectively respond to the violence in St. Catherine,” he said while speaking at a virtual press conference held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday (June 17) to announce the SOE.

The Police Commissioner advised that the public could assist by complying with the security officers at checkpoints, adhering to the curfew guidelines and notifying the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) of any breaches of professional conduct by members.

“For persons residing outside of St. Catherine, please advise us if you see persons turning up in your communities that you may have concerns about,” he said, noting that the public can call the JCF tip line at 811, police emergency at 119 or crime stop at 311 to provide information.

Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, reiterated the Commissioner’s call for patience, pointing out that the purpose of these operational activities “is not to inconvenience citizens but, rather, to add a robust element of security for law-abiding citizens, while we work earnestly to rid the communities of criminal elements”.

“We, therefore, ask that the citizens who live, work or travel within the areas impacted by the SOE cooperate with the members of the security forces on the ground. We are all working to a common goal of making Jamaica a safer place, and this can only be achieved through a unified effort.

“So, I endorse and reinforce the words of the Commissioner of Police to ask citizens to engage us through the various means of providing information to assist in ridding your communities of crime and violence,” she said.

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