PNP Sides with Gov’t on Declaration of State of Emergency, Wants Social Intervention Initiatives Too

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The Opposition People’s National Party, PNP, is calling on the government to ensure that the enhanced security measure, is accompanied by social intervention initiatives.

In a statement, the PNP, says it agrees that a national response was needed to address the increasing rate of murders in Westmoreland, Hanover and St James.

Vice President of the PNP, and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr Wykeham McNeill, says he maintains his calls for a zone of special operations in the parish.

Dr Wykeham McNeill, Vice President of the PNP, and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland.

In the meantime, a resident of the crime-prone community of Norwood, St James, Sujae Boswell, says younger residents are willing to endure the discomfort of the enhanced security measure.

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association, JHTA, says it fully endorses the declaration of the security measure.

In a statement the JHTA says it was concerned about the potential negative publicity that the enhanced security measure may cause.

But the JHTA says it understands that with the return of rampant criminality, especially in tourism centric St James, the measure was necessary.

It’s also calling on the government and the Opposition to put aside what it calls ‘all unnecessary politics’ and to collaborate to ensure the initiative is successful.

Meanwhile, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce & Industry is calling the move to declare further States of Emergency, necessary to stop the trend of high crime in St. James.

In a statement today, the Chamber says it’s confident that based on the State of Emergency concluded in January in St, James, the security forces are well placed for more relaxed opening hours for businesses.

It’s also calling for more intelligence based decisions when detaining individuals, improved results in the seizure of guns, better conditions in detention centres and the expedition of reforms to bring about sustained low levels of crime.



Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.


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