Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Debate on special zones bill pushed back

Published:Thursday | June 29, 2017 | 6:46 PM

The Government will have to wait at least another week to have the Zones of Special Operations Bill passed.

This as debate of the bill in the Senate has been pushed back to next week.

The Government had planned to have the Senate debate and pass the bill tomorrow, however, a scheduling clash with the funeral for Lady Ivy Cooke caused the debate to be brought forward to today.

However, today’s sitting of the Senate was also cancelled after the parliamentary Opposition said the notice was too short.

A release from Gordon House this morning says the next sitting of the Senate will be Thursday, July 6.

The legislation is a major policy move by Prime Minister Holness to tackle the escalating crime monster which has resulted in more than 600 people being killed violently since the start of the year.

The bill will allow the prime minister to declare a special zone of operation in a situation where there is rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder and the threat to the rule of law and public order. 

It will also provide the security forces with powers to search places, vehicles or persons without a warrant.

The bill was passed in the House of Representatives last night after a lengthy debate.