Update on St James State of Emergency in Jamaica

Jamaica, January 20, 2108

St James, Jamaica (Mckoy’s News)St James State of Emergency: The Government of Jamaican and Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a state of emergency in St. James, leaving some resident less than hopeful that the island can reclaim its tourist parish. St. James reported a record-breaking 335 murders in St. James in 2017, leading to many closed-door security forces meeting.

Over the past years it is apparent that while Jamaica makes strides towards economic development, citizens are reminded of the trouble that faces third world counties by the state of crime, murder, and poverty. Andrew Holness and the security forces are determined to bring the county to a change, but this has drawn scrutiny from the persons who live in the communities affected.

In a press conference at Jamaica House on Thursday, January 18, Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a state of emergency for St James.

“Crime and violence, in particular murders, have been escalating in the parish of St James. I have been advised by the security forces in writing that the level of criminal activity is of such a nature and so extensive in scale, as to endanger public safety,” declared Prime Minister Holness.

What Can Happen in the State of Emergency

  • Security forces are given extraordinary powers over particular areas
  • Area curfews and lock-downs are implemented
  • Police and Soldier presence increase in Full
  • Security forces can conduct searches of persons, vehicles, and locations without a warrant

Crime in the parish of St James has forced the hands of a government who pushed against this operation for some time. Prime Minister Holness acknowledges that some civil rights of citizens have been suspended, he said the security forces are expected to treat all citizens in a humane way.

St James State of Emergency: Citizens are criticizing the government for what they think is late action, only after the tourist leaders and the USA have made note of the imminent dangers of tourist travel to Jamaica. Residents think that the government is more concerned about the financial gain and loss of the tourist industry, and less concerned for the lives of Jamaican citizens.

One resident who wants to remain unnamed told Mckoy’s News, “Andrew a do dis now cause America a take notice, he care more for di foreigners.” 

While a man who calls himself “Sammy Gracious” said it is a good thing, he told us, ” A good ting man, dis fi gwaan long time, it a run too hot dung ya.” 

St James State of Emergency: We caught up with a mom who will call Mrs. Brown, said she has no hope but to put her affairs in order and move to a safer part of the island. She said she and her husband are taking her children and finding a safe place for them. According to her, she is not hopeful anything can end the violence.

Two brothers echoed the same words simultaneously, they told our news reporter that what needs to be addressed is the corruption in the government, as guns are not manufactured in Jamaica, but get through our borders. The brothers both said together “How dem get ya?” ” A deh suh State of Emergency fi start.”

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