Jamaica under lockdown following surge in violent crime

Ismail Akwei Mar 21, 2018 at 08:40am

March 21, 2018 at 08:40 am | News

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

March 21, 2018 at 08:40 am | News

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness flanked by police leadership

Jamaican authorities have declared a state of emergency in a second parish after a surge in violent crimes that resulted in the death of dozens of people.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared the state of emergency in the St Catherine parish on Sunday, three months after a similar security measure was declared in the St James parish in January.

The St Catherine North Police Division alone has recorded 49 gang-related murders this year, reports Caribbean360.

“Under these enhanced security measures, the security forces will have extraordinary powers and some (citizens’) rights will be suspended,” said the prime minister at a press conference.

Under the state of emergency, the security forces would have the power to search and detain people without a warrant. They can also restrict access to some areas and subject vehicles to a search.

“The security forces are expected and have been directed to treat citizens with respect and (to) protect the dignity and safety of all Jamaicans,” the prime minister warned.

A joint military and police patrol team arrested nearly a hundred people on Monday after the state of emergency declaration. It is expected to last for 14 days.

The state of emergency in St James, which includes Montego Bay, has been extended until May 2, 2018, as murders are still rife.

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