Jamaica declares States of Public Emergency in St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover

Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced States of Public Emergency (SOEs) for the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover and St. James.

“After careful consideration and review of the crime statistics, in particular violent crimes which have been committed in some western parishes, the security forces have advised that the current situation would warrant the Government advising the Governor-General to declare/proclaim States of Public Emergency,” the Prime Minister said, during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Holness said the Governor-General has declared that a State of Public Emergency exist in the community of the entire area comprising the parishes of St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

 “This proclamation shall, unless previously revoked, remain in place for 14 days or for such longer period not exceeding three months,” the Governor-General said.

Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, gave reasons for the declaration of the SOEs.

According to data outlined by the Commissioner, between January 1 and April 28 this year, 29 persons were murdered in Westmoreland; 27 persons were murdered in St. James and 18 persons were murdered in Hanover.