The mayor of Montego Bay is expected to request an extension of the current state of emergency (SOE) in Saint James parish through the end of the year. During a public address on July 8, the mayor said that while murder rates dropped by 64 percent in the first six months of 2018 compared to the previous year (47 versus 132), the SOE is still needed to further reduce crime. The SOE in Saint James parish is currently scheduled to end on August 2, and in Saint Catherine parish on October 2.
During the SOE, police and military personnel are given the authority to search people and buildings, cut business hours, and detain individuals without a warrant.
Authorities launched major police operations on January 18 in both parishes to combat a significant rise in crime.
Individuals present in Saint James and Saint Catherine parishes, as well as those throughout Jamaica, are advised to remain vigilant, follow all instructions issued by local authorities, and exercise basic security precautions (e.g. keep signs of wealth concealed, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, etc.).