The Parliament has granted an extension of the State of Public Emergency in the St Catherine North Police Division until July 3.
The 49 Members of Parliament attending Tuesday’s session voted in favour of the resolution to extend the security measure for three months.
The remaining 14 members were absent.
On March 18, Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared the State of Public Emergency for St Catherine North initially for 14 days after 48 murders in the division between January 1 and March 18.
Last year, 136 people were killed in St Catherine North.
Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, said the measure should be employed sparingly.
“In circumstances like this, where it is a response not to natural disaster of some sort, it is really an indication of the failure of policy to deal with the situation of repeated criminal violence,” Phillips said.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness concurred.
“I think that we can find a more clinical approach that would set out powers we could call it enhanced powers or some name we can find for it, that would allow us to rapidly deploy them, without having to go through the procedures that we have to now do.?
Holness said the government will soon articulate its crime plan publicly, but he said there is a major step to be taken.
“The crime plan must include in it, something to say this Parliament agrees on a set of actions that we are carving out national security as an area where there is bipartisan support for policy.”
© Humberto José Ramírez
© Humberto José Ramírez Urdaneta
Con información de: Jamaica Gleaner
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