Prime Minister Andrew Holness has sought support from the House of Representatives for further extensions of the enhanced security measures in the parish of St. James.
The Prime Minister tabled legislation for the extension of the Mount Salem Zone of Special Operations in St. James and the State of Public Emergency, for the St James Police Division by an additional three months. He says Jamaica’s high homicide rate should be seen as an emergency that must be addressed.
The enhanced security measures are to extend to January 31 next year.
Prime Minister Holness says the security forces must have the support and resources they need to tackle the country’s high murder rate. He says this should include the support of the Parliament.
The Prime Minister admits that the enhanced security measures can’t last forever.However, he says announcing an end at this time would send the wrong message to criminals.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness says both the State of Public Emergency and Zone of Special Operations in St. James are yielding results.
He says Mount Salem has recorded no incident of shooting or murder since the inception of the ZOSO.
Prime Minister Holness says Mount Salem is a very different community today than it was before the declaration of the ZOSO in September last year.
He says more Zones of Special Operations will be coming as resources permit.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness says the State of Public Emergency has reduced murders in St. James by more than 50-per cent since it began in January this year.
Prime Minister Holness was speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon.