The House of Representatives has voted that the State of Emergency (SOE) in the South St. Andrew Police Division be extended for three more months. The House on Tuesday, October 1, approved the extension of the enhanced security measures until January 4, 2020.
The SOE for the division was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, on Sunday, July 7, 2019.
In seeking support for the extension, in the House Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness used data to show that the SOE was working to save lives and reduce crime in the division.
The Prime Minister said that in the 84-day period before the SOE was declared there were 53 murders in St. Andrew South. In the comparative period since then murders had nearly halved.
“In the comparative period in 2018, there were 29 murders. Since the SOE has been in place for 84 days, we have had 22 murders. I wouldn’t argue [whether the SOE has done enough], but we could all agree that it has more than cut in half the number of murders in the parish,” he said.
“We have saved, by virtue of the collective action of this House by putting in place the SOE… 30 lives. There were 51 shootings in the 84 days before the SOE – that is down to 27,” Mr. Holness added.