Changing Course? Brown Burke Drops Protest Threat, Hands Support To SOE

People’s National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for South West St. Andrew, Angela Brown Burke has seemingly backtracked on her promise to protest should a state of public emergency (SOE) be implemented in her neck of the Corporate Area.

In a post on Facebook on Sunday – just hours after the SOE came into effect on September 23 – Brown Burke wrote, “I have very little faith in a SOE as a crime fighting plan. I will however give every support to any activity that does not seek to criminalize law abiding citizens. I am still concerned about the physical and mental pressure on men and women of the JCF and the conditions under which they serve. Will also be vigorously pushing for the social interventions that we all know are needed.”

Go back to mid-April and there was a wholly different tone from the MP, when, as murders skyrocketed in the neighbouring St. Andrew South constituency, Brown Burke insisted she planned on leading street protest, in the event an SOE was imposed to curtail the bloodshed.

Even as sections of Panye Land and Maxfield Avenue – areas that fell within her jurisdiction as MP – began to reel from the upward trend of crime, Brown Burke argued that social interventions and investments were a more viable method to tackle the crime nuisance.

Today, as the SOE envelops much of the aforementioned areas as well as Whitfield Town and Greenwich Farm, it would seem Brown Burke has reflected on her declaration and has come to appreciate the need to bring a sense of order to the St. Andrew South, Kingston Western and Central police divisions.

“From my perspective, however, the state of public emergency can only be a short-term measure…I am, therefore, expecting to see a co-ordinated approach in providing the intervention that is needed, whether through work on the physical environment, skills and educational development or social services,” the Opposition MP said on radio on Monday.

Franklin McKnight

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