Tuesday, 06 December 2022 13:13

Increase in murders since SOEs discontinued – Commish

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Commissioner of Police, Major General Anthony Anderson says the reimposition of the states of emergency (SOEs) in several parishes was necessary after an increase in murders following the expiration of the emergency measure last week.

Holness on Tuesday declared SOEs in St Ann, Clarendon, St Catherine, St James, Westmoreland, Hanover and specified areas of Kingston and St Andrew.

According to Anderson, since the discontinuation of the SOEs seven days ago, 22 murders have been committed across the island, with 17 of those killings occurring in areas where SOEs had expired.

Holness had initially declared the SOEs on November 15, but the Government’s effort to have them extended until January 14, 2023, failed in the Senate as the parliamentary Opposition refused to support the measure.

According to Anderson, when SOEs allow residents of volatile communities to feel more secure, the impact tends to be immediate.

“At the end of the 14-day period, the divisions where the states of public emergency were in effect recorded an overall 64 per cent decline in murders, that is 17 murders compared to 47 that were recorded in the 14 days prior. In the seven days since the SOEs, nationally, 22 murders have already been recorded. Seventeen of which have been in the divisions the SOEs were declared,” he said.

“It is important that we put the impact of the SOE into perspective with these numbers and the fact that within the first 10 days of the state of public emergency, there was one murder recorded from the border of Manchester and Clarendon through Clarendon, St Catherine, through St Andrew South, Kingston West, Kingston East to the border of St Thomas, one murder in the first 10 days," he continued.

“Secondly, we saw three consecutive days, November 22 to 24, where no murders were recorded. The last time such a trend was recorded was in 2012. Thirdly, we saw nationally where murders were reduced by 46 per cent over the 14-day period," he pointed out.