National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, is labeling as intellectually dishonest, persons who’re raising concerns about the efficacy of the State of Public Emergency in St James.

Dr Chang is also Member of Parliament for North West St James, which includes some of the most murderous communities in the country.

He says the security forces approved an extension of business hours about two weeks ago, after consistent pleas from members of the business community.

The National Security Minister says there’s been about one murder per day, in St James, ever since the extension to the opening hours was granted.

The crime-plagued parish was under a State of Public Emergency, for effectively all of 2018, and was again placed under the special security measure in April this year.

Some residents and stakeholders are concerned that the enhanced security measure is doing little to stop criminals who are intent on creating mayhem.

As more States of Public Emergency have since been declared in other crime-torn parishes, those concerns persist.

Dr Chang says the apparent spike in murders in St James, coincides with an extension of the opening hours for businesses in the parish, as well as, those in Westmoreland and Hanover, which are also under a State of Public Emergency.

He says the criticisms are intellectually dishonest and irresponsible.

The National Security Minister says the extended opening hours will be reviewed very soon.

In the meantime, Minister Chang notes that both Clarendon and St Catherine, where States of Public Emergency were declared last week, are large and difficult areas.

He says the security forces have enough manpower and intelligence to achieve positive outcomes in both parishes.