In a statement, the Councillors said they welcomed the overall situation of crime reduction that has been achieved under the SOE during the course of this year. “However, we are deeply concerned that of the 3,687 detained in inhumane conditions up to October 30, only 4% or 139 persons have been charged”, the councillors said.
“We are further distressed that of the 139 persons charged, forty of them were for minor offences including ganja, noise nuisance, overstaying and exposing goods in n vending areas, while serious crimes had the parish under siege in 2017” the four councillors said.
The councillors made specific reference to the fact that most of the crime reduction measures can be implemented under the provisions of the JCF Act and so urges the government to maintain the police and military detachment in St. James.
The councillors said since the cordons and searches could be done without a State of Emergency, under which citizens are detained indefinitely, all efforts should be made to ensure the continuation of police and JDF saturation.
This, they said, would eliminate the possibility of branding thousands of young men as criminals, making them face the prospect of losing jobs without being charged for any crime. “This only creates a bigger breeding ground for crime”, the councillors said
Consequently, we therefore, strongly recommend an even fuller deployment of police and military personnel in the affected communities to carry out all of the measures associated with the reduction in crime. It is against this background, that we support the PNP’s vote in Parliament to end further extensions of the States of Emergency, which remains in place until January 31, 2018.
We also support the PNP’s vote in Parliament to extend the ZOSO in the Mount Salem community.
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