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National Security Council must get report on Zones of Special Operations

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Major General Antony Anderson

The National Security Council is expected to receive a 10-day report on the happenings in areas designated Zones of Special Operations.

National Security Adviser Major General Antony Anderson explained that the report is a requirement under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act.

"It is not something you fire and forget. The way the legislation is written, they (zones) require close attention. The prime minister has really stepped out on this one," Anderson said.

For residents living in areas that are designated Zones of Special Operations, the major general is urging full cooperation with the joint forces, which are acting to rid the communities of criminals.

Social-intervention committees, which will be comprised of some community members, will be formed to work with residents to determine opportunities for training.

Included in the social component of the Zones of Special Operations will be the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme; and the HEART Trust/NTA, which "will intervene, if necessary to provide training".

Various other state agencies, such as the Jamaica Social Investment Fund and the Social Development Commission, will also intervene where necessary.

"This intervention will be lined up in a way to create sustainable change, which is really what we want. At the end, the communities will have normal leadership structures and determine their own future," said the national security adviser.

The legislation gives the security forces certain essential powers required to address serious crimes, while upholding the rule of law and protecting citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms.

Approved by the House of Representatives and Senate, the law will also facilitate the implementation of key social interventions in communities adversely affected by crime and violence.

The prime minister can only declare an area a Zone of Special Operations after the chief of defence staff and the commissioner of police, as members of the National Security Council, have advised him so to do in writing.