On Friday, July 19, the Jamaican Senate approved an extension of the current state of emergency (SOE) in St. Andrew South Police Division until at least October 5. The SOE includes sections of the capital, Kingston, and may continue to be extended if the security situation does not improve. According to government officials, St. Andrew South accounts for 14 percent of murders and 15 percent of shootings across all police divisions in the country. The division has reportedly experienced a significant increase in murders and shooting incidents in 2019 compared to the previous year. Heightened security measures and an increase in police operations are to be expected in the area while the SOE is in effect.
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.
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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