KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, says there has been a significant reduction in murders in the South Andrew Police Division since the imposition of the State of Public Emergency (SOE).
The government declared the SOE on July 7 to curtail the high level of crime plaguing communities in the Division, particularly murders which soared to 94 at the time.
But Chang, who toured the area last weekend, noted that while 21 people were killed one month prior to the SOE, its introduction has brought a level of stability across the Division.
“For the last three weeks, we have had a significant fall-off; it means that some 20 persons’ lives have been saved. That is the mission of a State of Emergency,” he said, noting that he visited the area to view key social intervention sites and engage with community stakeholders on issues related to targeted youth violence prevention, the creation of safe community spaces, and opportunities for community development.
Chang said work would continue with increased provision of social services, and engagement with the broader community to upgrade facilities in the area.
“We are in the community, we intend to do case management, family management, and community management, and when we are done, we have a community that you feel safer in,” Chang said, adding that while the Andrew Holness administration’s job to ensure “safety for all Jamaicans”, residents must play their part in this effort.
“The SOE will go, but we will leave a stronger [community where] you feel better, and take pride in yourself,” he said.