In continued defence of the Opposition’s decision to not support another extension of the States of Public Emergency, Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, is contending that the entire parish of St. James could be declared a Zone of Special Operation, ZOSO, instead.
Dr. Phillips says if the Western parish is declared a ZOSO, soldiers operating in the space would not need to function any differently than they do under the present State of Public Emergency, which is to end in January next year. This has not been the position of the government.
Dr. Phillips says he’s not persuaded by this argument from Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
During an exclusive interview with Nationwide’s Dennis Brooks yesterday, Dr. Phillips says those measures can be carried out without this particular enhanced security measure.
The Opposition Leader is contending that the entire parish could be declared a ZOSO instead. This, he says will still allow the military similar powers as the SOPE.
Dr. Phillips also says the ZOSOs allow for easier implementation of policies.
The Opposition Leader also says more than ZOSOs, intelligence policing is what’s needed to address the nation’s crime problems. The SOPEs are expected to end next month.
Yesterday Prime Minister Holness wrote to Dr.Phillips, asking for them to meet in an attempt to court the Opposition’s support for further extensions of the States of Public Emergency.
Dr Phillips has responded saying he’s willing to meet but wants other stakeholders to be engaged in those discussions.
Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips says suppression type policing under the States of Public Emergency could result in hostilities towards the State and its agents.