Jackson says cops in Portmore not observing extended closing time under SOE

Friday, September 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party (PNP) spokesman on national security Fitz Jackson says despite extended opening hours in the State of Emergency (SOE) areas, the security forces have not been officially instructed to implement the changes.

In a statement today, Jackson claimed that despite the announcement that the new 11 o'clock closing time for all businesses under the SOE in Clarendon and St Catherine would have come into effect on Thursday, police officers in Portmore were closing business places before nine o'clock last night.

During Tuesday's sitting of Parliament, the Opposition insisted that the nine o'clock time for businesses to draw their shutters was not realistic as communities such as Portmore thrive on a very active night life and the early shutdown of business activities is a major blow to residents and businesses alike.

National Security Minister Horace Chang on Wednesday confirmed that the government had relented and a decision was taken to move the closing time from nine o'clock to 11 o'clock for Clarendon and St Catherine and to mid-night in St James.

Jackson is calling for the immediate implementation of the extended hours as, according to him, residents and businesses in the affected areas are severely inconvenienced.

“The majority of Portmore residents work in Kingston and they don't get home in the evenings before seven o'clock most times. This is when they take care of their household activities, go to supermarkets, pharmacies and even to the purchase dinner from the food shops. To close businesses at nine o'clock means that there is not adequate time for residents to engage,” the Opposition spokesman argued.

“People are losing money and are being unnecessarily inconvenienced every day that the early closing hour remains in place, the police need to be properly instructed,” he said.


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