Black Immigrant Daily News
The use of states of public emergency (SOEs) has proven to be the quickest and most effective way of rapidly reducing violent crimes, says Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson.
“During the first period of the SOEs declared in November, murders were reduced by as high as 64 per cent and increased by as much as 171 per cent during the seven-day period when the emergency powers were removed,” he informed.
The Commissioner further stated that when the powers were reinstituted, the first seven-day period once again recorded declines as high as 55 per cent in the divisions where the SOEs were declared and continued to trend downwards.
Major General Anderson was speaking at a press conference on December 28 at the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Andrew, where states of public emergency were declared by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.
“As we close this year and move into the new year, it is critical that we sustain the downward trend, using all the tools that we know are effective in curbing the violence we continue to see,” he said.
Major General Anderson noted that the suite of legislative, operational and intelligence responses has been critical to the reduction in numbers.
He informed that the key legislative tools were the provision of the emergency powers to the security forces for two 14-day periods during November and December and the new Firearms Act, which came into effect at the beginning of November.
“Since the beginning of this year, the country has recorded a daily average of four murders. This peaked in September when the daily average reached nearly five murders. September and October recorded increases as high as eight per cent when compared to 2021. Over the past two months, we have managed to reduce the daily murder average to 2.5 and have reduced the gap between last year and this year from eight per cent in early October to 1.5 per cent currently,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner pointed out that the addition of the St. Andrew North police division will now bring all divisions in the Corporate Area under an SOE. He said this will allow for greater coordination of assets as the violence producers are targeted, particularly in volatile spaces and at the divisional borders.
“Intelligence is indicating the movement of gangsters and illegal guns through and in the St. Andrew North Police Division as well as attempts by migrant criminals to align and establish themselves in some hotspots in the division. This cannot be left unaddressed if we are to continue to reap the successes that we have been seeing, particularly across Kingston and St. Andrew,” he said.
He urged the public to continue to obey the rules and laws associated with public order, loud noise and traversing the roadways.
“They are there for your safety, and whereas we are out in our numbers for this period, it is not possible to be everywhere. We ask you to take responsibility for your personal safety on the roads and at these events, while we maintain the operational activities associated with targeting violence producers and criminal gangs as well as violence reduction in hotspots,” he said.
The Commissioner thanked the law-enforcement partners for their unwavering commitment to Jamaica, steadfastness, and persistence under difficult circumstances.Commissioner Anderson disclosed that up to December 28, a total of 1,481 persons have been murdered.
This, he said, represents an increase of 1.23 per cent when compared to the corresponding period last year.
“We are coming down from 8.9 per cent three months ago, so we have managed to do quite a bit. This month, we are tracking probably around 50 per cent of what it was last year… so we are probably 50 per cent of the 127 this year, that’s about 50 plus lives just for December,” he informed