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JAMAICA | PM says preparations being made before first zone of operations announced

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he has heard the public outcry for the Zones of Special Operations legislation to be put into effect. However, he says despite the need for urgency to restore safety and security, he is ensuring that adequate preparations are made before the first zone is announced.
    
Mr. Holness made the disclosure while addressing Police Commissioner George Quallo and senior commanders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force at a meeting on Monday regarding expectations ahead of the implementation of Zones of Special Operations.   
    
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister Tuesday morning said Mr. Holness emphasised that planning is critical to the successful implementation of the legislation.
   
He stressed that a key indicator of the success of the zones is that there must be no murders in the areas where the police will have control.

“I have taken time to ensure adequate preparations are made before the first zone is announced. Use the process of law enforcement to exemplify proper policing. A key indicator of the success of the zones is that there must be no murders in the areas where you have control over,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
 
The prime minister said he understands the public sentiments in agitating for the zones to be implemented as safety and security must be restored in Jamaica.
 
 “I hear the public outcry for the urgency of the Zones because murders are increasing and creating panic. So when we implement the Zones we must get it right,” stated Mr Holness.
 
In the meantime, Mr Holness stressed that the power of search is crucial.
 
“Go for the guns. Be very strategic. Get the guns. I can’t overemphasise the search strategy; search, search, search and do it politely. Build confidence in the community,” declared the prime minister.
 
The prime minister also responded to questions from the high command on the zones.
 
The Law Reform (Zone of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act was passed into law on July 14.

The Act gives the Prime Minister, in Council, the authority to declare an area as a zone of special operations.
 
The zones will be operated by a Joint Command of the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The prime minister, in Council, after consultation with the Joint Command, may request of the Parliament an extension of the zone.

  
On Monday, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) joined the Opposition in questioning the delay in declaring zones of special operations.
  • Countries: Jamaica