Let’s protect our SOE gains, says St. James Custos
Bishop Conrad Pitkin, the custos of St James, says the people of the parish are grappling with fear and uncertainty as to what will happen when the ongoing state of public emergency (SOE) comes to an end on January 31, next year.
"We don't know what will happen come 2019, but I am cognisant that there is a level of uncertainty and apprehension that is gripping us at this time," said Pitkin, who was speaking at the St James Municipal Corporation's Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and concert in Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay on Sunday.
"The very presence of all of you here this evening is a testament that since January of 2018, St James and Montego Bay have been a more peaceful community to live in," said Pitkin. "That you have felt more secure in this parish and in this city, we must say thanks to God and the security forces for the sense of peace that we now enjoy."
"So as we light this Christmas tree and as we celebrate Christmas, let us be resolved that we cannot return to the dark days of the past in
St James. Murders are down by more than 70 per cent, other serious and major crimes are down by more than 68 per cent. Let us resolve that we will not allow the gains that have been made to slip from us."
Unite against evil
Pitkin also called for every citizen of St James to unite against evil in order for the parish to become a place to live, to work, to raise family and to do business as prescribed in the goals set out in Vision 2030.
"We will not relent. We will stand fast for justice, for peace, for all. Let us use what is right with Jamaica to fix that which is wrong with Jamaica," said Pitkin.
Last week, members of the parliamentary Opposition voted not to support the Government's bid to further extend SOEs in James, St Catherine North and sections of the Corporate Area.