Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Holness maintains Mount Salem ZOSO is legal

Published:Tuesday | September 12, 2017 | 6:18 PMJerome Reynolds
Holness ... while the Mount Salem community is a small area it is a major contributor to crime in the Mount Salem Police Division

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the Zone of Special Operations in Mount Salem, St James is legal.

There have been concerns that the community does not meet the criteria set out in the law especially after the police revised the murder figures.

The special zones law stipulates that an area can be declared a zone where there is rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder.

But there have only been seven murders in Mount Salem since the start of the year, the last being in May.

In a statement to Parliament Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Holness said while the Mount Salem community is a small area it is a major contributor to crime in the Mount Salem Police Division.

Holness said the community has experienced escalating crime over the past three years and has a murder rate that’s higher than the national average.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

He maintained that the decision to declare Mount Salem as a special zone is justified.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The Prime Minister said the special zone was well thought out and well implemented.

Meanwhile, Holness said the National Security Council has received the first report from the joint command overseeing the special zone in Mount Salem.

READ: Holness' full statement here

In the first 10 days of the zone, the security forces, among other things, conducted 30 operations during which they recovered five illegal guns, arrested two wanted men and recovered lead sheets used by lottery scammers.

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