On Tuesday, October 3, Prime Minister Andrew Holness received unanimous approval from the House of Representatives to extend the state of emergency currently in effect in parts of the capital Kingston and in Saint Andrew parish - originally set to expire on October 2 - to January 7, 2019. He attributed the extension to an increase in crime figures and gang violence in the police divisions of Kingston Central, Kingston Western, and Saint Andrew South in the Kingston Corporate Area. The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution for extension on October 5. A heightened security presence and security operations are to be expected in the coming weeks and months.
States of emergency are also in effect in Saint James parish (until October 31) and Saint Catherine North police division (until January 2019). Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) have also been issued for parts of Kingston which permit the military to participate in joint operations with police to counter violent crime.
During states of emergency, police and military personnel are given the authority to search people and buildings, cut business hours, and detain individuals without a warrant.
Individuals present in the above areas, and Jamaica more generally, 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.).
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