The House of Representative yesterday voted for the extension of the States of Public Emergency until September 3.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that the SOEs have been effective in alleviating crime. However, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips only welcomed an extension to September 3, due to the election campaign season.
The States of Public Emergency which were slated to expire on June 29 were extended to July 25 initially.
SOEs are in effect in the parishes of St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, St Catherine, Clarendon, Kingston, and St Andrew. The most recent were instituted in the Kingston Western and Kingston Central police divisions, having been declared by the Prime Minister on June 14 in response to a 100% increase in criminal activities in both divisions, compared to last year.
Meanwhile, social media users have took to Twitter to express their disapproval of this decision.
“They are not effective…there has been about a thousand studies showing these measures are short term only…prolonging them has no effect on crime,” said one user.
Another added, “He (the Prime Minister) told us he will not seek an extension when they are finished, and that was about six weeks ago. I don’t like when our leaders backtrack their decisions.”