KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Sunday declared a State of Public Emergency in sections of the central parish of St. Catherine in an effort to fight crime.
Holness, who made the announcement during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, declared that the State of Emergency was effective as of Sunday and will remain in place initially for 13 days.
According to Holness, this was necessary in order to facilitate enhanced security measures in areas facd with high levels of criminality which have threatened pubic order.
The Prime Minister added that under the enhanced measures , security forces will have the power to search, curtail business operating hours and detain persons without a warrant.
As a result all persons using roads in and out of the area will be subject to being searched.
The area under curfew is the base for one of the most notorious gangs operating in the islands – the Clansman gang.
Also present at the press conference was Major General Antony Anderson, who takes office on Monday as Police Commissioner, National Security Minister Robert Montague and Justice Minister Delroy Chuck.
The Prime Minister says he will address Parliament shortly on the measure. – CMC