Fri | Dec 14, 2018

We need more states of emergency

Published:Friday | January 26, 2018 | 11:05 PMTeddylee Gray

THE EDITOR, Sir:

A limited state of public emergency was declared last Thursday in the parish of St James because of spiralling murders. Folks will say that it's better late than never. Well, I hope those folks can say that to the family members of the 335 people murdered in St James last year.

We need more states of emergency. I'm going to warn our Government: one state of public emergency cannot work if you all truly want us to sleep with our doors open.

For the 1,616 persons who were murdered last year, 1,355 came from only six parishes - St James, St Andrew, St Catherine, Kingston, Clarendon, and Westmoreland. The five safest parishes in Jamaica are Portland, Trelawny, St Mary, St Thomas, and St Elizabeth, as they only recorded an aggregate of 96 murders. The other three parishes - Hanover, St Ann and Manchester - only recorded 165 murders.

Based on these figures, we need at least three states of public emergency, since we don't have the resources for an all islandwide state of emergency.

I strongly believe that all states of public emergency must be strategic. For example, the St James state of emergency should have an impact on Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny.

TEDDYLEE GRAY

teddylee.gray@gmail.com

Ocho Rios, St Ann