Holness declares ZOSO in Norwood, St JamesSunday, June 20, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared a fifth Zone of Special Operation (ZOSO), this time in Norwood, St James where 15 murders and 14 shootings have occurred since the start of the year.
Since 2019, there has been 66 murders in Norwood where six known gangs operate, with their reach extending to the entire parish, Holness said.
The prime minister made the announcement during a hastily called press conference at Jamaica House Sunday morning. He was flanked by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson and Commodore AS Wemyss-Gorman of the Jamaica Defence Force, who represented Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Rocky Meade.
The Norwood ZOSO is the second to be declared in the western Jamaica parish, following on the Mount Salem ZOSO that was the first to be declared in the country in 2017.
The prime minister said an analysis of the situation in Norwood shows that the community continues to be plagued by “increased gang-related violence and criminal activities”.
He pointed out that Norwood is a community of just one square kilometre. It has about 11,800 residents, of which approximately 1,600 are males between the ages of 14 and 29 years.
Holness explained that the community has emerged in an unplanned way and has issues such as a lack of water. He said the housing structures are generally of good stock and residents are mostly employed in the tourism industry.
Holness explained further that the unplanned nature of the densely populated community could give rise to the levels of crime now being experienced.
“The ZOSO will target this area and will bring some peace not only to the community but it will give an opportunity for that community to turn a new leaf in its existence,” said Holness.
“The overall intention in declaring another ZOSO for St James is to ensure that the Government can deliver social interventions, leading to an improved living condition and quality of life for the citizens in that area and to reduce the exposure of our children to various behaviours and the exposure of violence in the area,” he added.
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