Mixed views on SOEs in Corporate Area communities
Making the RoundsSaturday, November 27, 2021
with Jason Cross
Residents of some Corporate Area communities in which states of emergency (SOEs) are in force yesterday gave mixed views on the security measure.
While some said they saw no benefit to the SOEs, others told the Jamaica Observer that they feel safe when the security forces are present in their communities.
Pointing to an upsurge in violent crimes in a number of communities across the island, Prime Minister Andrew Holness on November 14 declared SOEs in St James, Westmoreland, Hanover and four police divisions in Kingston and St Andrew on November 14.
The measure, however, will expire tomorrow after the Opposition, on Thursday night in the Senate, voted against the Government's resolution for an extension.
Yesterday, the residents with whom the Observer spoke, while willing to give their views, were unwilling to be photographed.
The SOE has played a very important role in fighting crime. This monster of crime has plagued Jamaica and many innocent lives have been lost. The only problem is arbitrary detentions, where you take away people's freedom.
Some people say the SOE is not working because there is no social intervention. We don't need a short-term plan. We need a long-term plan. Most of the people in the inner city are not working and that tends to lead to crime.
I love fi see dem [police and soldiers], because the thieves nuff in the Christmas. I can come out in the morning and feel safe when I see them; it is so good and I love that. When dem gone, a pure robbery a go gwaan. Di thieves are out and the young people dem nuh like work. At the end of the day, without God we are nothing. We have to beg father God for protection when dem gone. We have to beg Him. I want to see them walking the place. When I see them on the road before daylight, I feel good.
It would be a good thing if the soldiers patrol on foot. But it is not a good thing if dem stay one place. Dem nuh do no foot patrol. Dem just siddung and deh pon dem phone. Dem need fi do more foot patrols. If you are trying to solve crime, you have to use what is in your powers. You don't have to do foot patrols every morning. You have to plan it out so people don't expect you. I think the SOE is a waste of taxpayers' money. You have to have foot patrols like in the 80s and 70s. How can you have curfew and you announce that you are having it? It nuh mek no sense.
Mi love have di police around. Mi feel safer because mi nuh trust no living man.
Lincoln Avenue resident
Di man dem need fi deh here. Too much things a gwaan and dem help keep down things. People will get gunshot sometimes when they are here, but if they were not here, more people woulda get bun up. Dem haffi deh yah. People feel better when dem deh yah so; yuh need fi mek dem stay, bredda.