Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced a State of Public Emergency (SOE) for the South St. Andrew division.
Speaking at a press conference at Jamaica House on Sunday (July 7), Mr. Holness said that the declaration was made after “careful consideration and review of the current crime situation.”
St. Andrew South has recorded the highest number of murders since the start of the year with 94 cases. The figure is 15 more than the 79 murders recorded for the corresponding period last year.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, noted that the St. Andrew South division is experiencing “a high level of violent crimes.”
“The upswing in the last two months is at a scale and of a nature such that it greatly endangers public safety. Already, since the start of 2019, the division has recorded the highest number of murders, 94, and shootings 98, among police divisions in Jamaica,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, said security personnel from the JDF and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) were deployed to the division at dawn on Sunday.
He appealed for members of the public, who traverse the areas of the SOE, to cooperate with the police officers and soldiers at the various check points.
“The State of Emergency will give the security forces temporary additional powers of search, arrest and detention. We believe that this is necessary in order to give the security forces the necessary space to carry out the operational tasks that will be required to help bring a sense of normality to the communities affected,” he said.
The detailed boundaries of the St. Andrew South SOE are as outlined:
East. Starting at the foot of Red Hills at the intersection of Perkins Boulevard, Molynes Road and Red Hills Road, extending in a south-southeasterly direction along Molynes Road, Seaward Drive, Mimosa Road, Aloe Avenue, Bay Farm Road, Newark Avenue, Elm Crescent, Keesing Avenue, Hagley Park Road, Omara Road, and Chisholm Avenue to the point of intersection with Maxfield Avenue.
South. Extending in a south-westerly direction from the intersection of Chisholm Avenue and Maxfield Avenue, along Maxfield Avenue onto East Avenue to the coastline in the vicinity of Petrojam and extending along the said coastline in the vicinity of the Kingston Container Terminal to the Portmore Causeway Bridge.
West. Continuing in a north-westerly direction from the Portmore Causeway Bridge along the Fresh River, the shared parish border of St. Andrew and St. Catherine west of Riverton, and extending to the vicinity of the western most end of the Belvedere to the Ferry secondary road.
North. Extending in an easterly direction along the Belvedere to Ferry road to the foot of Red Hills at the intersection of Perkins Boulevard, Molynes Road and Red Hills Road, the start point.
The security forces are encouraging members of the public to use the tip lines to report gang and other criminal activity in their communities. Persons can call the JDF tip line at 876-837-8888; or the police tip line at 311.
Source: JIS News