Security forces will continue executing strategies to combat crime — Chang

KINGSTON, Jamaica — National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang this morning vowed that the security forces will continue to execute strategies to combat criminal elements and maintain a strong presence in hot spots.

In a statement following the announcement of curfews in the Kingston Western and the St Andrew South Police Divisions, where the state of emergency (SOE) came to an end last night, Chang said the government and the police will do all in their power to secure communities and citizens.

According to data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force murders decreased by 22 per cent at the end of 2018 when compared with 2017.

Chang, in his statement, thanked the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force for their unwavering commitment to keeping the people of Jamaica safe and secure and the effective work they did during the now-ended SOEs.

The minister said: “I know it has not been easy, but your dedication that helped to ensure that Jamaicans were able to move about their communities freely, and not in fear of violence, is commendable.  Despite the end of the States of Emergency, I know you will continue your duties in a professional manner as we seek to protect all Jamaicans and continue to make gains against criminals. The Ministry of National Security and the Government of Jamaica will continue to work assiduously, to ensure that 'Plan Secure Jamaica' is implemented”.

The SOE for St Catherine North expired last Wednesday and the police immediately imposed a curfew, which ended on Saturday. Meanwhile, the SOE in St James will expire on January 31.

The end of the anti-crime measure is due to the Opposition's vote last month against further extensions.

- Jamaica Observer