Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced the declaration of states of public emergency for St. Catherine and Clarendon.
Several sections of the society have been clamouring for the emergency powers to be effected in Clarendon in response to a surge in criminality.
The security forces have said the high level of violent crime, which has been experienced in Clarendon and St. Catherine since the start of the year, is at a scale and nature that greatly endangers public safety.
At a press conference this morning (September 5), the Prime Minister said the SOE was declared for an initial 14 days.
Meantime, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, says Clarendon has recorded 100 murders so far this year. This is the second highest number of murders across the 19 police divisions.
Meantime, 157 persons have been killed in the two police divisions in St. Catherine.
The Police Commissioner reiterates that the reduction in criminality being experienced by the three western parishes, and St. Andrew South, which are under states of emergency, is a testament that the measure is working.
And National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang while admitting that there is an uptick in crime in St. James, says persons should focus on comparing the crime rate with that, prior to the 2018 enhanced security measures.
He says the Government takes the safety of Jamaicans seriously, and the states of emergency are part of the strategy to effectively deal with crime.
Dr. Chang says criminality is a business for those involved, and they have adjusted their activities.
He points out that, the security forces are aware of the changes made by these criminal networks, and will make the necessary adjustments to continue saving lives.