Kingston, Jamaica: Prime Minister Andrew Holness has recently addressed the general public and highlighted the upsurge in violence in Spanish Town, St Catherine. PM Holness has termed the act a national emergency and mentioned that the government would deal with it wisely to protect innocent people.
Prime Minister Holness’ statement came after the shooting incident, which took place on June 14. The incident killed three (3) people and left dozens injured.
He stated, “The level of criminal activities taking place in Jamaica is symbolising a national emergency. We must act upon them now; there is no luxury to dither on these matters. We have to act to protect innocent, law-abiding citizens.
On Wednesday, June 15 (Wednesday), while addressing the National Disaster Risk Management Council Meeting at the Altamont Court Hotel in Kingston, Prime Minister Holness shared that he grew up in Spanish Town and will not want the situation to get any further out of control.
Prime Minister further added that these have the potential if it is not dealt with strongly, firmly and immediately, to claim many more lives.
He pointed out that there are “viable, legal changes that can be made” to address the matter.
The Prime Minister noted that “in our liberal democracy”, there are certain changes that require the cooperation of the Parliamentary Opposition and even if not required, they need the support of civil society.
“Even if it is not legally required, Government would not want to act without ensuring that there is public discourse, public understanding and that civil society agrees to move ahead,” he said.
The level of organized criminal activity in Spanish Town is a national emergency. The flare up violence will not be allowed to get out of control. It will be dealt with strongly, firmly and immediately. pic.twitter.com/4LRMJZmAlo
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) June 15, 2022
The police have reported that the shootings have been linked to an ongoing gang feud in the area, which has escalated recently.
Following the deadly shootings, a 48-hour curfew has been imposed in sections of Spanish Town. The curfew began at 6:00 pm on June 14 and will remain in place until June 16 (Thursday).