Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Sunday, July 7, that a new state of emergency (SOE) has been declared for southern parts of St. Andrew parish. The SOE will be in affect until at least Sunday, July 21, and covers areas of the capital Kingston. According to police officials, additional security personnel deployed to the area on July 7 and new checkpoints will be established. A heightened security presence and an increase in operations are expected through July 21.
States of Public Emergency have been implemented intermittently across multiple parishes, including St. James, since January 2018, due to rising crime rates. During 'states of emergency', police and military personnel are given the authority to search people and buildings, curtail business hours, and detain individuals without a warrant.
According to PM Holness, St. Andrew South has recorded 94 murders in 2019, the highest number of cases in the country.
Individuals present in the aforementioned areas, and across greater 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.)
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