Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will be working on policies to address civil strife in Jamaica.
Speaking during a recent digital press briefing, Mr. Holness said it was crucial for persons to understand that the extent of violence currently being experienced in Jamaica, “is [partly] driven by domestic motives [where] families [are] at war.”
“We’ve seen people being burnt out of their houses and displaced. This requires a different type of approach [to address it],” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that such occurrences, according to the United Nations, are known as civil strife.
Mr. Holness pointed out that the southern belt of Kingston and St. Andrew, which comprises four of the five divisions in the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Area Four, has accounted for 36 per cent of all murders recorded, so far, in 2021.
Additionally, he said St. James, Hanover, and Westmoreland account for a further 24 per cent of the murders.
“Together, this cluster of communities in the southern crescent of Kingston and St. Andrew and the tri-parishes in the north… has produced 60 per cent of the country’s murders in 2021,” the Prime Minister added.
“If you have a murder rate or a homicide rate of 30 per 100,000, then you would be considered a state with civil strife. So, there is something happening within our society that we must carefully classify,” he further stated.
Against this backdrop, Mr. Holness said while standard policing may have some impact on the violence between families and gang wars in communities, there is need for “the right mix of policies to address this specific kind of challenge which faces the Jamaican state.”