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PNP says ZOSO, SOE not arresting crime wave

Monday, April 23, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Fitz Jackson, the Opposition spokesman on national security, has criticised the effectiveness of the Government's latest crime initiatives and is urging the authorities to take serious and urgent action in light of increasing murder rates across the country.

Jackson, in a release from the party today, said the latest report provided by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) shows a significant increase in murders in St Andrew South and an overall 44 per cent increase in murders, between January 1 and April 21 compared to a similar period in 2017.

"Over the past week, several murders have been reported in Denham Town, St James and North St Catherine, all areas under special operations," he said.

The zones of special operations (ZOSO) in Mount Salem, St James and Denham Town in Kingston and the state of emergencies (SOE) declared in St James and in a section of St Catherine have failed to arrest "the skyrocketing murder rate and demonstrate beyond any doubt, that the Holness led-administration remains clueless and incapable of addressing the nation's crime issue,” Jackson argued.

“We continue to state that ZOSO and SOE are temporary measures and cannot contain the widespread problem that this nation is facing; yet this government continues with its public relations gimmicks, pretending that they are taking action while more communities are becoming killing fields.”

Jackson added that: “Those living in areas under ZOSO and the SOE are not spared as the crime wave continues unabated”.

He argued that in spite of the SOE and ZOSO murders and shootings continue to increase at “alarming levels” throughout the rest of the country.

Jackson claimed that the Denham Town ZOSO was “failing to reduce the high levels of fear that has gripped the community” and that the number of security personnel assigned to the area needs to be reviewed.

“What decision processes did the ZOSO team and JCF High Command go through to reduce presence in the zone? Was there a risk assessment regarding the reduction in police/military presence?”

Jackson is calling on the government to tell the nation what plans are in place to address crime and allay the fear gripping several communities island wide.

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