Jamaica News: The Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) in Mount Salem, St James; and Denham Town in West Kingston will be extended by a further 60 days.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday (February 5), approved two Resolutions for the extensions, which were moved by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
In his remarks, Mr. Holness noted that ZOSOs are long-term in nature and are not designed to just have a reduction in crime for 60 days.
“The intention is that these communities will develop the leadership, the institutions, and the general environment of peace… that infrastructure and other kinds of development will be brought to these communities,” he pointed out.
Mr. Holness informed the Lower House that both communities are now in the build phase.
“In that phase you would see more development activities, rather than security-based activities. In both communities, it is evident that the Government has expended significant resources to ensure that their infrastructure is improved,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that a $184-million infrastructure improvement project for Denham Town was lunched on January 31, 2019.
“Where we are now focused in both communities is on developing the leadership… as well as economic enablement and empowerment, assisting with grants and small loans to ensure that micro businesses can start to flourish in these areas,” the Prime Minister said.
In addition, he informed that work has begun in Mount Salem to regularise settlements “in terms of titling and ensuring that the settlement there is orderly”.
“What we see in the community are some small lanes, tracks and irregular plots. All of that will be addressed in this phase,” Mr. Holness said.
The Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act gives the Prime Minister power to declare an area a ZOSO in order to tackle increased crime and volatility. This is in consultation with the National Security Council.
The Zone can only be established after the Police Commissioner and the Chief of Defence Staff make a request for such a declaration in writing to the Prime Minister.
Source: JIS News