Commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) Terrence Williams says the professional actions of security personnel within areas designated under states of public emergencies (SOEs) and zones of special operations (ZOSOs) should be commended.
“Complaints from the ZOSOs and state of emergency areas has [been] low and we continue to see low [reports of] incidents, which is quite commendable for the security forces,” he said on Thursday, September 27 at a press conference at INDECOM’s New Kingston headquarters.
Williams contended that to achieve a reduction in criminal activity and restoring public order within these strategic areas across the island, without widespread claims of rights violations is a strong indicator that the fight against crime can be sustained without collateral damage.
“They have brought, as I understand it, down crime in those areas and have brought a sense of control in those areas without much complaints about abuses,” Williams argued. He added that while INDECOM has received reports of prolonged detention, they are understandably committed under the Emergency Powers Act.
Zones of Special Operations are in effect for Denham Town since September 2017 and Mount Salem, in Kinsgton and St. James respectively, since October 2017.
States of Public Emergencies have been declared in St. James since January 2018; in the St. Catherine North police division since March; and most recently, on Sunday, September 23 in the Kingston Central, Western and St. Andrew South police divisions.
By Gavin Riley