Murders down 35% in western parishes since SOE, says Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reported a reduction in murders and shootings since the implementation of the states of public emergency (SOEs) in the parishes of St James, Westmoreland and Hanover on April 30.

Holness was addressing the House of Representatives, which yesterday approved a three-month extension of the states of public emergency (SOEs) in the three parishes, until January 27, 2020.

The members also voted in favour of continuing the SOEs in Clarendon and St Catherine until January 18, 2020. 

In his address, the prime minister explained that declaration of the SOEs in the areas was done as a result of the rate of murders, gang-related activities and other illicit activities that were occurring.

He informed that for the comparative 162-day period prior to and during the SOE, that is November 19, 2018 to April 29, 2019 and April 30 to October 8, 2019, respectively, the tri-parish area experienced an overall reduction in murders by 35 per cent, moving from 142 to 93, and shootings by 43 per cent, decreasing from 140 to 80.

The prime minister said that over the period April 30, 2019 to October 8, 2019, during the period of the state of public emergency, reductions were recorded in all three parishes.

He informed that murders and shootings in the parish of St James reduced by five per cent, moving from 64 to 61, and 13 per cent for shootings, from 61 to 53, respectively, when compared to the similar period last year.

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