The measure, which entered into force on January 18th through a proclamation issued by Jamaican Governor General Patrick Allen expires on at the end of the month, but the Parliament extended it for three months, by way of a resolution supported by two thirds of the House and The Senate.
Fifty-one of the members voted in favour of the motion put forward by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, which was more than the two-thirds majority needed by the house. Eleven members were absent.
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips said his party would support the measure to extend the State of Public Emergency, and outlined some deliverables that will be necessary for the security forces' operations to be considered successful.
The Senate will now have to meet by Thursday if it is to approve the extension of the state of emergency, which would begin right after midnight Thursday and last until May 2.
Holness told Parliament that 10 guns have been retrieved, while 51 persons have been arrested and charged since the state of emergency was announced and declared on January 18.
In announcing the state of emergency at Jamaica House, Holness noted that crime and violence, in particular, have been escalating in the parish of St James, which had 335 homicides last year.
Under the state of emergency, the security forces have the power to search, curtail operating hours of business, access to places, and to detain persons without a warrant.
In addition, people using roads leading in and out of St James are subject to vehicle and personal search. In various areas of city and township, there are joint static and mobile patrols. Persons may also be stopped at various checkpoints.
- Countries: Jamaica