Mixed re­ac­tions to state of emer­gency

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - ROMARDO LYONS STAR Writer

A66-year-old res­i­dent of Rose Town in Kingston was among many per­sons who have wel­comed the dec­la­ra­tion of a state of emer­gency in the Kingston Western and Kingston Cen­tral po­lice di­vi­sions.

“Me glad! It shoulda be one month it a last fah. I don’t know what, but since corona is like gun­man get more gun. Me tired of this… every time I hear a shot my heart just start race be­cause I live in a board house. Any­thing can hap­pen and we don’t know where shot com­ing from,” the se­nior cit­i­zen said.

The ad­vanced se­cu­rity mea­sure is for a pe­riod of two weeks, but is likely to be ex­tended by Par­lia­ment. In an­nounc­ing the state of emer­gency yes­ter­day, Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness said that it will con­nect with the ones ex­ist­ing in the Kingston East and St An­drew South po­lice di­vi­sions. This will create a ‘se­cu­rity cor­ri­dor’ along the Wa­ter­front from Bull Bay in the east to Ferry in the west.

“The space now de­clared has seen in­creased criminal ac­tiv­ity in the second quar­ter of this year. These ar­eas, if left unchecked,have shown his­tor­i­cally that they can spi­ral to chaotic ends, even hav­ing na­tional dis­rup­tive im­pact,” he said.

One Tivoli Gar­dens res­i­dent says the SOE will be ef­fec­tive with proper polic­ing.

“We don’t have a prob­lem … from yuh nuh inna nuh bad­ness and yuh nah walk round wid gun, dat nuh sup­posed to bada yuh. Our prob­lem is that the po­lice dem nah deal with peo­ple wid nuh re­spect. Dem nah deal wid we right from long time. Yuh caa beat, beat up the yute dem and a act like seh a some old dog yah deal wid,” he said.


“The po­lice dem fi know a who dem a look fah. Gun­man nah hide inna house, so stop antagonise in­no­cent peo­ple and go look up inna the trappy dem.”

An­other res­i­dent says the SOE doesn’t come as a sur­prise.

“Af­ter what gwaan last week, me know this did a go come and, hon­estly, we need it. Too much fool­ish­ness a gwaan inna this place now… dem need fi scrape up the care­less yute dem offa the road. All dem a do a ter­rorise peo­ple fi dem things. Dem need fi scrape dem up be­fore dem kill we off.”

Mean­while, some Den­ham Town res­i­dents do not be­lieve the state of emer­gency is likely to bring about any change.

“We have ZOSO (Zone of Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions) how long now in Den­ham Town and shot still a beat every night. Me nuh see wah change! Dem still a kill off di yute dem and di man dem still fraid fi dem life, so me nuh see how dat a help we,” one woman said.

“We live inna fear cause we nuh know if a man a guh pass and aim offa we. ... Po­lice can a pa­trol dung a point A and man shoot man a point B. ZOSO nah work dung yah, so me nuh think state of emer­gency a guh work ei­ther.”

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