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Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reimposed a State of Public Emergency (SOE) in seven parishes for the next 14 days. The parishes include sections of Kingston and St Andrew, Clarendon, St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, St Catherine, and St Ann.
While speaking during the emergency press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister earlier today, Prime Minister Holness outlined that the reimposition of the SOEs will aid in curbing the high levels of crime that is evident in these policing divisions.
He further noted that in spite of the constant arguments proposed by the Opposition regarding the effectiveness of SOEs as a crime-fighting tool, SOEs will be in effect as the need arises.
In response to this, Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Andersson outlined that there will always be a need for SOEs to curb crime.
Commissioner Anderson outlined that in the areas where the SOEs were declared, 52 murders occurred two weeks before the imposition, 14 during the two weeks of the SOEs, and 20 in the week after the SOEs were lifted.
He also added that the areas where the SOES were imposed recorded a 64 per cent decline in murders.
“In other words, at the end of the 14-day period at the divisions where the States of Public Emergency were in effect, recorded a 64 per cent decline in murders that is 17 murders compared to the 47 that were recorded 14 days prior,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang also alluded that with the increased homicide rates, the Government has deemed it necessary to reimpose SOEs in order to curb the epidemic of crime.