Wed | Dec 13, 2017

National security council meet on special zones

Published:Thursday | July 20, 2017 | 12:20 PM
Holness – File Photo

Chairman of the National Security Council, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, began meeting at 10 o’clock this morning with members of the council following yesterday’s enactment of the Zones of Special Operations Act.

Yesterday, information minister Ruel Reid told journalists that after the meeting of the National Security Council the country would be informed as to whether there is a determination of areas to be designated Zones of Special Operations.

There have been more than 700 murders across the island since the start of the year, with the majority of the bloodletting happening in St James, Clarendon, St Catherine and the Corporate Area.

The legislation, which was gazetted yesterday, represents the latest response from the Government to quell the spiralling murder rate. 

The legislation allows the Prime Minister, on the advice of the National Security Council, to declare a zone of special operation in an area where there is rampant criminality, gang warfare, escalating violence and murder and the threat to the rule of law and public order. 

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

An area can remain a zone of special operation for six months.