Mount Salem in St James declared first ZOSO

Friday, September 01, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness this morning declared Mount Salem and surrounding areas in St James as the first Zone of Special Operation (ZOSO).

Holness, who was addressing a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), reminded that no area can be declared a zone of special operation for more than 60 days.

In addition, the prime minister said if targets are not met within the 60-day allotted for the operation, Parliament will then have to decide whether the ZOSO should continue or end.

Holness explained that a report from the National Security Commission on each operation zone will be submitted to him every 10 days and he will give a report be given to Parliament every 14 days.

The Gazetted Order of the declaration is dated Friday, September 1.

Holness said this is a new law for special measures for upholding and preserving the rule of law, public order, citizen security and public safety within certain geographically defined areas of Jamaica.

“The rule of law must be upheld and preserved in every nook and cranny of Jamaica. We can no longer afford any area to provide a safe haven for criminals to hide. Zone by zone, community by community, square inch by square inch,we will establish and restore public order, citizen security and public safety. We will make Jamaica safe again,” he declared.

According to the prime minister, in accordance with written nominations of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Commissioner of Police, Major Godfrey Sterling of the JDF and Kirk Ricketts, Superintendent of Police of the JCF have been designated to be jointly in charge of operations within the zone.

At the same time, Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake revealed that there are currently 12 gangs that are spreading their influence in the St James community.

Blake, who is acting as police commissioner, also reiterated that the objective of the ZOSO is to disrupt and dismantle gangs and create a safer community.

Police have reported that 54 people have died in Mount Salem since the start of this year.

This morning the lawmen imposed a curfew in the area, which they said would last up to 6:00 pm Sunday.

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