KINGSTON, January 19, 2018 - The opposition Spokesman on National Security Fitz Jackson has welcomed the declaration of the State of Emergency in St. James.
Jackson, who is also Chairman of the Peoples National Party said his organization has been urging the government to take action based on what has been happening in the that parish as well as the Corporate Area.
"Something bold has to be done to cauterise the wanton murder of Jamaicans with the level of brazenness that we have been seeing in recent time," Jackson said.
He urged that in the bid to apprehend criminals and return the community to "some level of disciplne", the government will also execute the State of Emergency in a way that will preserve the respect of law abiding citizens and allow them to go about their business as necessary.
But Mr. Jackson chided the government for taking too long to act, saying it was "regrettable" that more than 300 lives were lost in St. James before measures were put in place to curb the violence.
He said the Opposition would be giving qualified support to the State of Emergency pending the conditions of the Emergency which will be tabled in parliament on Tuesday by the government.
Jackson said the State of Emergency can only be a short term measure to cauterise the situation until a long term solution is put in place by the government. He p[ointed out that th PNP had recomended the implementation of a 'surgical task force' that could target criminal elements all over the island on the basis of intelligence gathered.
The announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to call the state of public emergency came just over four months after Mount Salem in St James was declared the first Zone of Special Operations in the parish. This shows that the Zoso was indeed a failure and was not thought out before implementation Jackson said.
In the meantime, The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, while welcoming the State of Emergency said it was a 'band-aid' for a major problem. President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, T'Shura Gibbs said while “it is unfortunate that the Government would have to use a state of emergency” to address the crime problem, the chamber will support the move.
"I am thinking that this is putting a band-aid over a problem that requires surgery. State of Emergency and then what? What happens next?" Gibbs questioned. "If we don't address the root cause of the issue then we're never going to get anywhere, and one of the biggest challenges is that the guns are here, more are coming here and we need to get to the root," she added.
Last modified onFriday, 19 January 2018 09:41
- Countries: Jamaica