Jamaica's crime situation not normal, says CDS Rocky Meade
Outgoing Chief of Defence Staff [CDS], Lieutenant General Rocky Meade

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Outgoing Chief of Defence Staff [CDS], Lieutenant General Rocky Meade, has echoed Prime Minister Andrew Holness in declaring that the situation with which Jamaica is faced in terms of the country's alarmingly high murder rate is not normal.

“We consistently have murders in the mid-to-high forties per 100,000. That's not normal whatever measure we want to use,” Meade said.

“Whether we want to use the measure of the Latin American and Caribbean region which is the highest region in the world, averaging about 16 per 100,000 or whether we're ambitious enough to use the world norm which is about six to seven per 100,000 or even is we want to set a higher norm than the highest region in the world, over 40 per 100,000 is not normal,” Meade declared.

He was speaking Sunday during a Jamaica House media briefing where the prime minister announced south Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland where violent crime, including murder, has taken hold for some time, as the seventh Zone of Special Operation [ZOSO].

Meade said the JDF was renewing its commitment that “while we're facing abnormal security circumstances, we commit to supporting the Jamaica Constabulary Force in this most significant of their mandates”.

He noted that the ZOSO will give the security forces temporary additional powers of search, arrest and detention.

“We believe that this is necessary in order to give the security forces the necessary space to carry out the operational task that will be required to help bring a sense of normalcy to the community,” said the CDS who demits office later this month.

He outlined the boundaries of the ZOSO as follows:

-To the north, beginning at the northern end of Seaton Crescent in the vicinity of the mangroves on the eastern side of Gooden's River. The boundary extends in an easterly direction along Seaton Crescent then north to Morris Street then south on to Great Georges's Street to the intersection with Rose Street.

- Northeasterly along Rose Street to the Segree Street intersection with Hudson Street.

- To the east, the boundary extends southerly from the intersection of Segree Street and Hudson Street and continues along Hudson Street, then along the water feature to the east of Hudson Street to the shoreline.

- To the south, the boundary continues in a westerly direction along the shoreline from where the water feature terminates, to the mouth of the Gooden's River.

- To the west, the boundary extends in a northerly direction from the mouth of the Gooden's River to the northern end of Seaton Crescent in the vicinity of the mangroves on the eastern side of the Gooden's River.

Described as a geographically small area that is affected by poor infrastructure, intra-gang and inter-gang violence are features of the area now declared a ZOSO.

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