Chang says ZOSO will help to 'save lives, restore order' in Parade Gardens
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Almost two weeks into the three-month long Zones of Special Operations implemented in Parade Gardens, central Kingston, Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, has sought to reassure citizens that the objective of the ZOSO is “to save lives, restore order and pursue transformative action.”

In his statement to Parliament on the ZOSO issued on Tuesday, Chang, who is also the country's Deputy Prime Minister, shared that murders in the Kingston Central Division increased by 55 per cent in 2021, after recording a total of 79.

The Minister expressed that the ongoing violence in the area has spread to include the Downtown Business District as well as the location of several critical government institutions and said the situation warranted immediate intervention.

“The Parade Gardens Community is one of sixteen communities that fall within the Downtown Development Area that has been prioritized for immediate intervention. Having lost 16 lives in 2021 at the hands of criminals, Parade Gardens is among the top ten communities nationally, with the highest number of murders,” a part of the statement read. “This has raised the level of concern for the Government and the security forces, which saw it prudent to declare a Zone of Special Operations in the Community.”

Chang shared that “like many other challenged communities, Parade Gardens has benefited from a number of social intervention programmes over the years” but has had “little to show for it.”

It is against that background that the Minister insists the ZOSO will not only “provide the community with a respite from violence” but will also “create an environment for long-term development.”

Pointing out that residents of Parade Gardens are tired of the violence, Chang said the Government implemented the measures it has to “restore peace and good order to Parade Gardens.”

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy