Senate Follows House In Vote Extending St James State of Emergency

The Senate voted this evening (Wednesday, May 2) to extend the State of Emergency in St James completing the process required under the Constitution, following a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives Tuesday.

All 53 members of the House voted for the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018, which will extend the State of Public Emergency in St. James until August 2, 2018.

The SOE would have come to an end May 3, without a two-third vote of both Houses of Parliament.

In asking the House to extend the SOE that was declared January 18 in St James, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the State of Emergency exercise has portrayed law-enforcement officers, particularly the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, in a more positive light.

“Communities are saying we want the police here in our community. That is a transformation in thinking. We should try and ensure that this continues,” he said.

The Prime Minister also gave data showing murders were down in St James compared to last year with nearly 60 people fewer being killed this year.

There is also a state of Emergency in St Catherine North but that will not expire until July 2.

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