Jamaican authorities have extended the state of emergency in St. Catherine North police division, originally scheduled to expire on October 2, to January 2019. A state of emergency has also been declared in parts of downtown Kingston and St. Andrew parishes on Sunday, September 23, over recent shootings and other violence in the areas. Specifically, the state of emergency covers the police divisions of Kingston Central, Kingston Western, and St. Andrew South; security forces in the Kingston Corporate Area have erected checkpoints from Studio One Boulevard in the east to the Waterfront in the west, and from Oakland Road in the north to Ocean Boulevard in the south. Major thoroughfares in Kingston, such as Marcus Garvey Drive, Waltham Park Road, Maxfield Avenue, Spanish Town Road, and Slipe Road, are notably included under the state of emergency.
A heightened security presence (including checkpoints) and security operations are to be expected in the abovementioned areas over the coming weeks.
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.
Another state of emergency in St. James parish has been extended until October 31. 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.
Individuals present in the affected parishes, and those in 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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