Holness told the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Mount Salem police station in St. James on Friday, that the decision to call out the troops was taken during a National Security Council meeting on Thursday.
“We have decided that in order to support the JCF in their efforts, we will make a full call out of the National Reserves to augment the force presence that we have in communities across Jamaica,” he stated.
“We are not only going to be focusing on the prevention of murders and gang warfare but even though this will be a muted Christmas season in terms of the level of celebrations, certainly we are still expecting that there will be significant commercial activities ….and so we are going to ensure that spaces in which commercial activities take place are also safe,” Holness said.
“We are also noticing an increase in traffic on the roads and with that comes the usual issues of traffic management and the usual indiscipline that we have to address, and so that will also have our attention. So for the next month, we are going to make every effort to increase our presence, increase our dynamic operations, and give greater profile to what we have been doing,” Holness added.
In supporting the decision of the prime minister, Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, noted that there has been an upsurge in violence in St. James and other areas on the island, over the past two weeks.
He said the JCF will be focusing on stemming the violence, as criminals will not be allowed to stop the progress being made in fighting crime on the island, over the past three years.
As such, Mr. Anderson said that increased police presence can be expected across the island during the Christmas season and beyond.
“As we go into the Christmas season you will see additional deployments in the commercial areas as we try to keep persons safe. One of the things that our public can do for us is when you see things that seem out of place or not as they should, just report it so that we can respond,” he outlined.
The new Mt. Salem police station, which is being constructed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and funded by the European Union (EU), is being done at a cost of some $45 million.
The police station is set to benefit some 9050 residents in Mt. Salem, as well as residents in surrounding communities.
- Countries: Jamaica
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