The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (June 20), approved a further 60-day extension of the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) in seven areas across Jamaica.
They are Denham Town, West Kingston; Norwood and Mount Salem, St. James; Greenwich Town, Parade Gardens and August Town in St. Andrew, and Savanna-la-Mar, in Westmoreland.
In his remarks, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, noted that despite incidents of shootings on the margins of Mount Salem and Norwood, “it no way reflects a failure of the ZOSOs”.
“In the areas where this has happened, the police intelligence has gotten the required information on the individuals very quickly and, in fact, are tracking down those perpetrators, and we expect to bring those areas under significant control,” Dr. Chang said.
“The overall figures demonstrate that there has been significant reduction in [crime] in all areas, and the work to effect social and economic transformation continues,” he added.
Police data show that Mount Salem has experienced a 48 per cent decline in murders since the ZOSO’s declaration, while Denham Town has nine per cent.
Greenwich Town is down 24 per cent; Norwood, 56 per cent; August Town, 66 per cent; and Savanna-la-Mar, 83 per cent, while Parade Gardens is showing a 94 per cent decline in murders as of June 18, 2023.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chang informed that work on the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Amendment) Bill is still ongoing, noting that it will be with the drafters “shortly”.