Senate to Vote on Extension of SOEs after House Approval

The Senate, or Upper House, is to vote on the extension of the States of Emergency (SOEs) for another three months, following House approval of an extension.

The House of Representatives Tuesday, April 21,  approved the extensions of the SOEs, for three months, with 44 members voting in favor of the measures and two against.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness brought a motion for the extension of the SOEs in seven parishes and areas. He gave statistics to show that, in all areas where there was an SOE, crime had been reduced.

According to Mr. Holness the East Kingston Division where an SOE was declared January 26 this year, there has been an overall reduction in murders of 89 per cent, moving from 28 to 3, while shootings dropped by 91 per cent from 22 to 2. Other “category one” or major crimes, including aggravated assault, rapes and break-ins also declined.

For the parishes of Clarendon and St. Catherine, for which an SOE was declared on September 5, 2019, Mr. Holness said, there was an overall reduction in murders and shootings of 30 per cent, moving from 241 to 168. He gave figures that indicated 30 people were still in detention from those two parishes.

In the case of St. Andrew South, which was declared on July 7, 2019, Mr. Holness said there has been a seven per cent reduction in murders from 133 to 124 and a 16 per cent decline in shootings when compared to the preceding 284 days. Eighty people are still in detention in that area.

Meanwhile, for the SOE in Hanover, St. James, and Westmoreland that came into effect on April 30, 2019, just under a year ago, Mr Holness told Parliament that the tri-parish areas experienced an overall decline in murders by 25 per cent and that shootings dropped by 28 per cent.

A total of 3,275 persons were detained and 38 remained in detention.

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