Tue | Aug 22, 2017

PM insists special security measures not state of emergency

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2017 | 3:07 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaks during a press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday. – Jermaine Barnaby Photo

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is insisting that the proposed special security measures will not give powers equivalent to those of a state of emergency.

Holness yesterday tabled a bill seeking to establish the special security measures.

The bill will among other things, give the security forces the power to search places, vehicles or persons within specific areas without a warrant.

Peter Bunting, the Opposition Spokesman on National Security has raised concern that the special security measures seem to give the prime minister and the Cabinet the powers to impose a state of emergency without having the normal parliamentary review.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

At a press briefing this morning, Holness sought to provide clarity.

He insisted that the proposed special security measures will not give powers equivalent to those of a state of emergency.

Holness also said the special measures were not only about security, but also sought to address social issues necessary for community building.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Holness also sought to assure that the special security measures provide for accountability to ensure that people’s rights are not abused by law enforcers.

As a result, he says keen focus will be placed on the execution of the operations which may last for up to two months in geographically defined area within a single continuous boundary of special operations.