Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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State of emergency declared in parts of Jamaica

March 14, 2023

CMC – The Jamaica government Tuesday said that a state of public emergency (SOE) has been declared for the parishes of Clarendon and St James as the two parishes remain of particular concern for outbreaks of gang violence.

“Organised gangs remain a threat in these parishes. Although there have been some successes in reducing murders through strategic and tactical security operations, more needs to be done. As we acknowledge this, the Government will continue to use all tools at our disposal to protect the lives of our citizens of Jamaica and dismantle the threat to law and order,” according to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister.

It said that the SOEs, which goes into effect from midnight, will last for an initial period of 14 days.

According to the proclamation, “action has been taken or is immediately threatened by persons or bodies of persons of such a nature and on so extensive a scale as to be likely to endanger the public safety of the communities in the areas specified.”

The statement said that the declaration of SOEs will allow the security forces to carry out targeted operations to disrupt and dismantle criminal gangs and their networks and prevent the occurrence of serious crimes.

The Andrew Holness government said it wanted to assure the public and all stakeholders that the safety and security of all Jamaicans remain its top priority.

All citizens are urged to cooperate with the security forces as they work to stop criminal activity, it added.

St. James has recorded 36 murders so far this year, down from 51, while 21 people have been murdered in Clarendon, up from 11 for the corresponding period last year.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said there have been 233 murders so far this year as compared with 287 for the same period last year.

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