Kingston communities under State of Emergency
A State of Emergency has been declared in sections of Jamaica's capital city, Kingston.
This follows similar declarations in the tourist capital of Montego Bay, St James, and the old capital of Spanish Town and its environs.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared the State of Public Emergency for sections of the Corporate Area on Sunday morning.
He said the "Government considers the crime situation in these areas to be over and above the capacity of existing law enforcement". He said that the use of the State of Emergency, which is consider to be the last tool in the law enforcement toolbox, is not a knee-jerk reaction to the crime problem.
Holness said that the State of Emergency is part of a wider plan to "degrade and erode the capacity of criminal organisations to operate and control these spaces".
The implementation of the measure will mean the restriction of movement in troubled communities. These are Greenwich Town, Hanna Town, Jones Town, Tivoli Gardens, Rose Town, Trench Town, Arnett Gardens, Denham Town and Whitfield Town.
The Prime Minister said that the government intends to "break and challenge the culture of criminality that exist on some communities within these areas".
"Every community where criminal organisations and dons are operating as laws unto themselves will be addressed," he said.
Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson said that the areas of focus have been exposed to "gang violence, significant extortion and general lawlessness."
He said the security forces will seek to disrupt the criminal gangs and ensure the restoration of the rule of law in these communities.
"While there may be some inconvenience ... we are actually here for your protection," Anderson said as he craved the support of law-abiding citizens.
The Corporate Area State of Emergency will last for 14 days in the first instance, but may be extended if authorisation is given by the Parliament.
BOUNDARIES OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY