Duncan-Price renews call for ZOSO in Kingston CentralTuesday, June 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — People's National Party (PNP) Caretaker for Kingston Central, Imani Duncan-Price, is renewing her call for a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) to be implemented in communities in Kingston Central as incidents of crime and violence continue to rise.
Duncan-Price welcomed the recent announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness of more 'Boots on the Ground' with cordons and curfews in Southside and Tel Aviv.
She noted, however, that a ZOSO is still needed to meaningfully reduce violent crime rates sustainably.
“Once stability is re-established, it is critical for other community-building efforts to begin to enable residents to become employable and employed to make a life for themselves. The ZOSO would provide critical social investments and development needed to address the root causes of crime and violence,” Duncan-Price argued.
She urged the prime minister to listen to the residents as they are the ones experiencing violence first-hand.
“Community members from Tel Aviv and Southside called me and expressed gratitude for the increased security presence. Stations with security forces are set up at key points now. However, community members from Spoilers and Rae Town are begging for more security forces in their communities,” Duncan-Price continued.
Noting the implementation of a ZOSO in Norwood, St James on Sunday, June 20, the caretaker is questioning why similar security measures were not implemented in Kingston Central communities experiencing rampant violence and increased murders.
“As of June 20, 2021, the police divisions of Kingston Central and Kingston Eastern recorded an increase in murders of 44 per cent and 50 per cent respectively, a total of 78 murders since the year began. For the same period, the entire parish of St James suffered 79 murders (a 55 per cent increase over last year). We are reiterating the need for a ZOSO given the very small and dense space that makes up the communities of Central Kingston which have suffered the majority of these murders,” she explained.
Duncan-Price previously called for a ZOSO in January of this year due to an unacceptably high murder rate, which at that point showed a 90 per cent increase year on year. Her call was spurred by the murder of four young men during a drive-by shooting in Allman Town. She has made subsequent calls for significant intervention over the last five months and recently joined a group of concerned women from the constituency who have been peacefully but persistently protesting and calling for a ZOSO and additional resources for the police to “get the guns”.
The police yesterday implemented a curfew in Kingston Central communities. It will remain in effect until 7:00 pm on Wednesday, June 23.
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