Vox Pop | Residents react to SOE
QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the state of public emergency (SOE) imposed in St James, Westmoreland and Hanover?
Pamela Broadbelt, shopkeeper, St James:
“I believe the SOE is necessary, and hope they accomplish what they have set out to do, like catching the persons out there with guns and bringing back peace to the community.”
Iona Prince, retiree, St James:
“The SOE is necessary, and as far as it goes with the young people, some of them want counselling because you can’t talk to some of them. Sometimes we’re too scared to go out, so if anything can be done about that, it would be good.”
Carlton Thomas, retiree, St James:
“The SOE is necessary, but the authorities need to go from house to house and search because the people have the guns there.”
Bishop O’Neil Russell, pastor, Westmoreland:
"It was needed to stem the crime and violence in the parish. So many persons have been killed over the past years. ... I hope it will stem some of these problems to include allowing persons to move about as freely as they please."
Rubena Rhoden, vendor, Westmoreland:
'The crime was really high, so with the presence of the security forces, it will help to reduce the number of murders being committed in the parish."
Richard Davis, bus driver:
"It is a good move. It will provide protection for the people, who are now living in fear as a result of the high crime rate in the parish."
Lynval Malcolm, bus conductor:
"It will help to restore law and order so that more investors can come into the parish. The high crime has been driving away business or forcing some to close their doors much earlier than they want to."
Glendon Spence, business operator and promoter, Hanover:
"The state of emergency will definitely reduce the crime situation on a short term basis, but what will take place when it is lifted? The Government needs to put a long-term [crime-]fighting plan in place because a state of emergency is the end of the line in a country's defence system, and when that defence fails, we will all be in trouble. "