Government Senator and former Montego Bay Mayor, Charles Sinclair, is welcoming the introduction of an elite quick-response squad to help patrol the streets of St. James.

Senator Sinclair says he’s heartened that the Government is taking a multi-dimensional approach to reducing violent crime.

He says that approach includes improving the mobility of the security forces.

Charles Sinclair, Government Senator.

Senator Sinclair was making his contribution to debate in the Upper House yesterday on a resolution to extend the States of Public Emergency in five parishes – including St. James.

During the debate, Opposition Senator Damion Crawford, accused the Government of failing to achieve some of the objectives of the special security measure.

Damion Crawford, Opposition Senator

Mr. Crawford was rebutted by Government Senator Matthew Samuda.

Mr. Samuda noted that a sharp increase in murders in some parishes resumed at the beginning of this year when the Opposition voted not to continue the State of Public Emergency.

He noted that the measure was voted down despite a 70-per cent decline in murders in St. James in the previous year and an approximately 20-per cent decline nationally.

Senator Samuda says the Holness administration was forced to reintroduce the special security measure on April 30 this year.

He also told the Senate that the government is intensifying efforts to reform the constabulary force.