Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said the States of Emergencies declared to cover five parishes and part of a sixth are not a substitute for regular policing.
Mr Holness was speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, September 5, where he announced the Governor General had been asked to declare a state of emergency in the two neighbouring parishes.
He said, “What the SOE does is to provide a respite in the number of crimes, in particular murder that are taking place.” Mr Holness said the enhanced security measure enabled the security forces to put more boots on the ground and also to restrict movement of criminals.
Supporting a statement by Commissioner of Police Antony Anderson, the Prime Minister said the SOE is not being used as a substitute for the regular police work but it “gives regular policing an ability to do its work.”
The Prime Minister said he wanted to remind the country that “the triple threat of guns, gangs and dons continue to exist.”
Gangs are a “criminal business,” Mr. Holness said. He said people know the gang leaders in their community and he said they prey upon your children. “They literally recruit them,” he said.
“Some of the criminal enterprises are so sophisticated they look for the brightest and try to recruit them,” Mr. Holness said.
Also participating in the press conference were Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and head of the JDF Lt General Rocky Meade.