2 days, 15 detained

Security forces process more than 170 people in latest SOE; no traffic snarl

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.cm

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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ONE hundred and seventy-six people have been taken into police custody since Sunday's declaration of the latest state of emergency (SOE) in sections of the Corporate Area.

Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Dahlia Garrick, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that 15 of the 176 individuals have been detained for further processing.

Garrick, who was unable to say whether the detainees will be charged, said during initial processing, some of them were identified as 'persons of interest'.

“Most persons have been processed and released. Today (yesterday) we arrested one man for breaches of the Dangerous Drugs Act; this emanated from a search of a public passenger vehicle at one of the checkpoints. A search of that vehicle led to the seizure of just under five pounds of ganja and the subsequent arrest of a man of a Kingston 8 address. He will be interviewed in the presence of his attorney, following which formal charges will be laid,” the assistant superintendent of police explained.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, during an emergency media briefing at Jamaica House on Sunday, announced that the state of emergency would take effect immediately and would encompass parts of the Kingston Central, Kingston Western and St Andrew South police divisions. It is to last for 14 days.

According to Holness, the state of public emergency is aimed at eroding the capacity of criminal organisations that operate and control those areas; break and challenge the culture of lawlessness within those areas; and ultimately provide a space in which law-abiding citizens and the police can work together to maintain peace and harmony.

Yesterday, the traffic nightmare that was anticipated by commuters following the announcement of the state of emergency did not materialise.

The concern was raised since thoroughfares such as Maxfield Avenue, Spanish Town Road and Marcus Garvey Drive were among the alternative routes named following the closure of Portia Simpson Miller Square, formerly Three Miles, to facilitate road expansion work.

However, when the Jamaica Observer visited checkpoints at Oakland Road, Spanish Town Road, Waltham Park Road, Delamere Avenue, Rousseau Road, Lyndhurst Road, Studio One Boulevard, Slipe Road, Harbour Street, Pechon Street, Maxfield Avenue, Orange Street, and Ocean Boulevard yesterday, traffic flowed freely under the watchful eyes of the joint forces.

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