KINGSTON, Jamaica (Aug 29, 2017) – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has held talks with Police Commissioner George Quallo and senior commanders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force as the authorities move to implement new strategies aimed at curbing the crime situation here, especially murders.
The meeting, the second since last week, examined the expectations ahead of the implementation of the Zones of Special Operations.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (in suit) meeting with Police High Command
A government statement issued after the talks noted that Holness had emphasised that planning is critical to the successful implementation of the Zones of Special Operations.
“I have taken time to ensure adequate preparations are made before the first zone is announced. Use the process of law enforcement to exemplify proper policing. A key indicator of the success of the zones is that there must be no murders in the areas where you have control over,” Prime Minister Holness said.
He said he understands the public sentiments in agitating for the zones to be implemented as safety and security must be restored in Jamaica.
“I hear the public outcry for the urgency of the Zones because murders are increasing and creating panic. So when we implement the Zones we must get it right,” Holness said, stressing that the power of search is crucial.
“Go for the guns. Be very strategic. Get the guns. I can’t overemphasise the search strategy; search, search, search and do it politely. Build confidence in the community.”
The statement noted that Prime Minister Holness also responded to questions from the high command on the Law Reform (Zone of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act that was passed into law on July 14.
The Act gives the Prime Minister, in Council, the authority to declare an area as a zone of special operations.
The zones will be operated by a Joint Command of the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The prime minister, in Council, after consultation with the Joint Command, may request of the Parliament an extension of the zone.
Meanwhile, police in the parish of Clarendon have been kept busy as gangsters continue with the killing spree.
Over the past week at least 10 murders, including that of two children, have been recorded and since the start of the year at least 100 people have been murdered.
The Clarendon police are now seeking the assistance of the military and Mobile Reserve to step up policing in the community.
Commander for the parish Senior Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell told The Gleaner that “the place is covered with illegal guns” adding that “citizens need to work with us by giving what they know about illegal guns”.
Jamaica has recorded 893 murders since the start of the year, with June being the month with the highest number of killings, according to official figures released here.
Last year, the island recorded 1,350 murders, with the police claiming that 65 percent of these murders were linked to gangs. – CMC