The Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) in Denham Town, West Kingston; Mount Salem, St. James; Greenwich Town and August Town in St. Andrew have been extended by a further 60 days.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday (December 8) approved four Resolutions for the extensions, which were moved by National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.
In his remarks, Dr. Chang noted that the Mount Salem and Denham Town zones continue into the build phase, with both communities having undergone three years of intervention since their declaration in 2017.
“The communities have, in fact, experienced significant improvements in human and community development. The community of Mount Salem continues to undergo meaningful transformation, with the planned implementation of three major projects as part of the build phase,” he added.
The three projects are training in digital animation, construction, among other skills; building of a new police station for which ground was broken on November 27; and the rehabilitation of the Mount Salem Primary School, which is expected to commence in early 2021.
Regarding Denham Town, Dr. Chang said that a review of the work of the social intervention agencies involved in the ZOSO is under way and “the strategy moving forward is to expand interventions into the more challenging areas”.
As it relates to Greenwich Town and August Town, he told the House that these communities will see the continuation of the hold phase, with the security forces maintaining an effective presence, while there is roll-out of some activities under the build phase.
“So far, there is a major reduction in all major crimes in the two areas. During the hold phase, the strategy is to create an environment in which the State’s presence can be effectively re-established, thereby reducing the opportunity and capacity for criminals to commit crime,” Dr. Chang said.
Additionally, the Social Intervention Committee (SIC) has completed a comprehensive developmental roadmap for both communities and will be actively engaging and developing interventions to respond to the areas of need.