by STAFF WRITER
June 17, 2022
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 17, CMC – The Jamaica government Friday declared a state of public emergency (SOE) in the parish of St Catherine, citing rampant criminality and lawlessness.
Sections of Spanish Town in south central Jamaica, have been experiencing murders and shootings.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, speaking at a news conference, said the terror being experienced in some communities is a result of the organised criminal activities of gangs, guns and the young men that are being recruited.
“The Government has to act. The Government cannot sit by and see innocent Jamaicans going about their business…having to be scurrying for their lives. The government has to act. That is the government’s duty,” he Holness said, adding one of the most important rights of Jamaican citizens is the right to life.
The state of public emergency allow the security forces, or authorised persons, enhanced powers of search and arrest and limit the right of detained persons to due process. The measure can only remain in force for 14 days and must get the support of both Houses of Parliament.
But the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has expressed concerns about the use of SOEs in crime-fighting. It voted previous efforts to extend the measures.
(More to follow)