18 of 34 detained in St Catherine SOE still in custody

18 of 34 detained in St Catherine SOE still in custody

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, September 07, 2019

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Hours after the state of public emergency (SOE) was reinstated in St Catherine, 34 people have been detained, 16 processed and released, while 18 remain in police custody.

According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Dahlia Garrick, who heads the constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit, processing of the 18 who remain will continue and “normally, if a person is not needed they are released in 24 hours”.

Garrick also told the Jamaica Observer that the SOE in St Catherine is different this time around, as when it was previously introduced, the focus was only on specific sections of the parish.

Now, as announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a news conference on Thursday, the entire parish is under the SOE. So too is all of neighbouring parish, Clarendon.

Holness said that the SOEs were long overdue but the necessary resources had to be put in place first.

He said the Government is cognisant that it is stretching its resources with several SOEs across the island at the same time, but the security forces have already calculated the challenges.

“Yes, I'm always concerned about stretching our resources to the limit, but in management sometimes you recognise that you don't know your true limit until you have tested it, and the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) and the JDF (Jamaica Defence Force) continue to prove that they can stand up to the challenges. But we also know there are hard limits in terms of human resources,” Holness said at Thursday's press conference.

The emergency security measure will initially be for two weeks, after which Parliamentary approval must be sought for an extension.

Up to press time yesterday, no reports were received in regard to the number of people detained and released in Clarendon.

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