MP renews call for ZOSO in August Town

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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MEMBER of Parliament for St Andrew Eastern Fayval Williams is renewing her call for the implementation of a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in August Town, following a recent flare-up of violence in the community.

Williams, who was speaking to journalists on Tuesday following the Texaco Centenary Anniversary press launch at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, said that residents have, in the past, repeatedly requested that a ZOSO be declared, and more recently after the killing of a man and the wounding of two other people on Sunday. That incident was followed by the firebombing of a house and shop on Tuesday.

Williams said both incidents are examples of the level of violence taking place in the community that recorded zero murders in 2016. August Town recorded 12 murders in 2017, nine of which were due to domestic violence. The murder figure for 2018 was not readily available, a representative from the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Unit said yesterday.

“I am renewing that call... There is a lot of retribution; there are a lot of guns in August Town. I have to... congratulate the security forces, they are very responsive. But, as you are aware, where people hide guns are [sometimes] hard to find. Even though they have been arresting and taking out the bad guys, bringing them to trials, a lot of times the guns are not found.

“So, we just have a new crop of people who feel they ought to pick up where others leave off, in terms of the retribution, in terms of bringing mayhem to communities that are otherwise peaceful and where there are many law-abiding citizens,” Williams said.

She first made the call a year ago following the shooting death of a correctional officer in the community. The MP had said then that she would be writing to Prime Minister Andrew Holness to request a ZOSO for the area.

Yesterday, the police imposed a curfew in sections of August Town in its St Andrew Central Division.

The curfew began on Tuesday at 6:00 pm and will remain in effect until 6:00 pm today.

The boundaries of the curfew are as follows:

North: Along an imaginary line about 925 metres from the large upstairs house on the hillside in Goldsmith Villa to the intersection of August Town Road and University Road;

East: Along an imaginary line about 768 metres from the intersection of August Town Road and University Road to May Lane;

South: Along an imaginary line about 720 metres from May Lane to Top Road;

West: Along an imaginary line about 1,000 metres from Top Road to the large upstairs house on the hillside in Goldsmith Villa.

During the hours of the curfew, people within the boundaries are required to remain within their premises unless otherwise authorised, in writing, by the member of the security forces who is in charge of enforcing the curfew.

Five people have been killed in August Town since the start of the year.

— Kimone Francis


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