Black Immigrant Daily News
The police high command is reporting that there were no murders committed in Jamaica for three consecutive days during the November 15 to 29 states of emergency (SOEs).
There was also an overall 46 per cent decline in murders, Police Commissioner, Antony Anderson disclosed during a press briefing held on Tuesday at Jamaica House.
At the same meeting, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced new SOEs, this time for eight parishes and an additional police division.
The latest SOEs will remain in force for an initial two weeks after which they will need parliamentary approval for any significant extension. However, Anderson signaled that the security chiefs, himself and Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, requested that the emergency measure remains in force for a limited period, particularly to cover the Christmas period.
Armed with statistics, Anderson reminded that murders which were showing an increase of 6.8 per cent up to November 15 when SOEs were declared, and when compared to the corresponding period in 2021, dropped to 3.6 per cent following that declaration. He noted that “in the two weeks prior to the (November 15) declaration, that is weeks 45 and 46, the national murder figures were 36 and 28 respectively”.
“In the two weeks during the (derailed) state of public emergency, that is weeks 47 and 48, the national murder figures were 14 and 11 respectively,” Anderson added.
However, in the week since the SOE lapsed, 27 murders were recorded according to the figures provided by the country’s top cop. He shared that in the divisions where the emergency power was in place prior to the declaration of the previous SOEs, (weeks 45 and 46) 30 and 22 murders were recorded.
“In weeks 47 and 48, which represents the period of the states of public emergency, seven murders were recorded for each week. And in the week since the state of public emergency, 20 of the 27 murders recorded nationally were committed in the divisions where the states of public emergency were previously declared,” Anderson said.
In further justification of his decision to ask for another round of SOEs, Anderson explained that “The divisions where states of public emergency were in effect recorded an overall 64 per cent decline in murders. This is 17 murders compared to 47 that were recorded 14 days prior”.
“In the seven days since the SOEs (ended), nationally, 22 murders have already been recorded, 17 of which have been in the divisions where the SOEs were declared,” the police commissioner lamented.
Anderson argued that it was important to put the impact of the SOEs into perspective with these numbers. He said that in the first ten days of the November 15-29 SOE, just one murder was recorded in a space spanning the border of Manchester and Clarendon, through Clarendon, St Catherine, St Andrew South, Kingston Western, Kingston Central, Kingston East, to the border of St Thomas.
And, for three consecutive days – November 22-24, no murders were recorded islandwide.
“The last time such a trend was recorded was in 2012,” said Anderson while adding that nationally, murders were reduced by 46 per cent over the 14-day period.
“When the SOEs are declared, the people in the violence-plagued communities feel safer and the impact tends to be immediate,” he insisted.