Sat | Aug 17, 2019

Appalled at curtailment of police powers

Published:Friday | December 14, 2018 | 12:17 AMShanique Ebanks



This is an open letter to the Opposition.

As I listen to the proceedings of Parliament on Tuesday, December 13, 2018, I am appalled at the unanimous decision made by you not to support the extension of the states of emergency across St James, St Catherine North, and sections of the Corporate Area.

Logically, I cannot fathom why this position was taken, especially since no alternative plan has been put on the table. Sixteen months ago, St James was a never-ending nightmare. It was the norm to listen and read most reports that up to five or more people were slaughtered daily.

By all indications, many of the law-abiding citizens living in these volatile areas appreciate the state of emergency. It allowed them to return to some semblance of normality. They can finally go about most of their day-to-day living feeling relatively safe. So, Opposition, I am sorry to break it to you, but yes, we need the SOE currently.

I will accept without hesitation that like many other strategies, there are shortcomings, as crime is increasing in other areas. However, with logical thinking like many of my fellow Jamaicans, the extension of the SOE must be supported until a better strategy is put before us.

Statistics released by the JCF a few days ago clearly indicate that murders are down. In St James alone, murder rates are down 70 per cent, St Catherine North, 26.8 per cent, and Kingston Central, 44.4 per cent. Why would any right-minded Jamaican not continue to support this strategy?

Opposition, please accept that this is no ordinary situation, and acknowledge the realities of the short-term strategy that must be used to curtail the nightmare until a long-term strategy is created and put in place.