VOX POP: Do you think the Government should reimpose the state of public emergency in St James?

Western News

VOX POP: Do you think the Government should reimpose the state of public emergency in St James?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

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There have been calls in some quarters in the western parish of St James for the reimposition of the state of public emergency (SOE) as a measure to halt the spiralling murder rate.

Since the start of this year, more than 18 people have been murdered in the parish.

This, compared to two, during the similar period in 2020 when an SOE was in force in the parish. The enhanced security measure came to an end in August.

Jamaica Observer West photographer Alan Lewin earlier this week asked people across St James: “Do you think the Government should reimpose the state of public emergency in St James?”

Here are some of the responses.

Winsome Lewin, businesswoman
Certainly. It should return as quickly as possible. It is a quick fix for the escalating crime rate. It should return as early as possible

Camille Young, businesswoman
Yes. It should return. During the time it was here crime went down. It will affect business a lot, but we will survive. But when it is absent we lose more lives and properties.

Jerry Reid, sports coordinator
Yes. It should return. When it is here it saves a lot of lives, and less pain for family and friends. It will help to curtail the movements of criminals.

Ronique Robinson, social worker
Yes. It should return. It keeps the criminals under control. I like the checkpoints at the border of the parishes, they slow down the movements of criminals, although it will cause a burden on society with the delays. In the first place it should never go away.

Marcia Palmer, pastor
Yes. It is needed but with some new strategies. The old ones were not working. The first one [SOE] was abusive. There is also a need for more police youth clubs.

Suyen McGregor
The methods (SOE) used before didn't prove to be successful. It only inconvenienced the public so if SOE is to resume, there has to be a strategy aimed towards arrest and trial of persons involved in senseless killings and getting the guns off the street.

Frank Garrison, auto dealer
No. They should find important measures to fight crime. Put the police intelligence to work with the community members.

Steve Hemmings, security guard
Yes. The crime is getting out of hand and I am tired of the killing. Put the soldiers in the communities and let them camp out.

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