Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, is making the case for the States of Public Emergency to remain in effect in three western parishes and parts of St Andrew South. 

As the murder rate continues to climb in the crime-plagued parish of St James, some residents and stakeholders have been raising concerns about the efficacy of the enhanced security measure.

But, at a Lions Club of Kingston meeting this afternoon, Commissioner Anderson says the enhanced security measure must remain in place until the conditions change.

Stevian Simmonds reports.

Statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, reveal that up to September 3, this year, the national murder rate has increased by 1.3% compared to the corresponding period for last year.

That means twelve more persons have been murdered this year in 2019 in comparison to 2018.

In Westmoreland and Hanover, where a State of Public Emergency has been in place since April, murders have fallen by 39% and 47% , respectively.

But in St James, which completes the trio of western parishes under a State of Public Emergency, murders continue to climb, and are up by 38% so far this year when compared to Jan 1 to September 3, last year.

Between January 1 and April 14 this year, 45 people were murdered in St James. That’s an 80% increase over the corresponding period for 2018 while a State of Public Emergency was in effect in the parish.

That enhanced security ended in early 2019 as Opposition MPs voted against a further extension of the measure.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Anderson says the enhanced security measure needs more time to show the real impact it is having.

The Police Commissioner says the States of Emergency and the Zones of Special Operations, ZOSOs, are only two of the tools the security forces are using in the war on crime.

The States of Public Emergency, in the western parishes, are to expire next month.