The Greenwich Town community in South West St. Andrew has been placed under a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO).
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement at a press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday (July 1).
He said that the decision to place Greenwich Town under a ZOSO was made based on the advice of the security forces. He noted that the area continues to be plagued by increased gang activity.
For the first six months of the year, there were seven murders in Greenwich Town, including two double murders and eight shootings.
Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, said that the area “has historically been plagued by a certain degree of violence and we’ve seen within the first six months of this year that this violence has continued and gone up”.
“The gang warfare in the community has endangered public safety, causing citizens who want to live in peace to live in fear. It has eroded the social fabric and robbed citizens of their livelihoods,” he added.
The ZOSO will provide for targeted intervention to address the crime in the area, preserve the rule of law and public order, and ensure citizen security and safety.
Chief of Defence Staff, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, outlined the boundaries within which the ZOSO will operate.
To the west, beginning at the intersection of Marcus Garvey Drive and Third Avenue, the boundary extends in a north-easterly direction along Third Avenue and then south-easterly along the train line continuing north-easterly parallel to West Avenue, then to the east of Greenwich Town All-Age School to Spanish Town Road to the north.
It continues south-easterly along Spanish Town Road to the shared parish boundaries of Kingston and St. Andrew in the vicinity of the intersection of Spanish Town Road and Maxfield Avenue.
To the east, it continues from the vicinity of the intersection of Spanish Town Road and Maxfield Avenue in a south-westerly direction along the boundary of Kingston and St. Andrew down to Marcus Garvey Drive.
To the south, the boundary extends from the intersection of the shared parish boundary in a north-westerly direction at the intersection with Third Avenue.
Under The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act, an area can be declared a ZOSO once there is rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder, and a threat to the rule of law.
An area can be declared a ZOSO by the Prime Minister after being advised in writing by the Chief of Defence Staff and Commissioner of Police.