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Prime Minister declares State of Emergency in St James

Jamaica Gleaner / Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared a state of emergency in St James.

This means that extraordinary powers have been given to the security forces and some rights have been suspended.

Members of the security forces may also search places without a warrant. 

The declaration coincides with an increase in violence including murders and shootings.

The latest incidents occurred three hours apart near the round-a-bout to the Sangster International Airport on Tuesday leaving one man dead and three others seriously hurt.

St James ended 2017 with a record 335 murders, that’s 66 more than reported in 2016.

Since early this morning soldiers and police have been blanketing parts of St James carrying out searches.

In making the declaration this morning, Holness said in as much as some rights have been suspended, the security forces were expected to be humane to all citizens.

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