Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Why Mount Salem has been declared first Zone of Special Operations

Published:Friday | September 1, 2017 | 9:57 AM

It's the home of 12 major gangs and the scene of 54 murders since the start of the year.

This is Mount Salem, St James — a string of alleys, each with a unique identity and a mix of residents from different social classes.

About 12 minutes away from Montego Bay, St James, it's one of the most populated areas of the tourism capital.

But areas like Pigott Street, Coffee Lane, Campbell's Lane, Katon Lane and Smart Street are known problem places in Mount Salem where you can also find low-income housing and profound depression.

So Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared it the first Zone of Special Operations in a move to contain the violence there.

READ: Special Zones Law - What does it mean for you?

FACTS:
54 murders recorded in Mount Salem so far this year                        
16 murders in Crawford Street alone                       
12 major gangs operating in Mount Salem                        

Mount Salem murder by the year:
2004 - 46 murders
2015 - 70 murders
2016 - 85  murders
2017- 54 murders