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Tourism Stakeholders Support Increased Security Measures

Jamaica Information / Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), addresses press conference at Jamaica House, today (January 18), where he declared a State of Public Emergency in the parish of St. James. Others (from left) are Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade; Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague; Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck; and Commissioner of Police, George Quallo. + – Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), addresses press conference at Jamaica House, today (January 18), where he declared a State of Public Emergency in the parish of St. James. Others (from left) are Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade; Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague; Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck; and Commissioner of Police, George Quallo. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says tourism stakeholders in St. James have expressed their support for increased security measures to be taken in the parish to curb crime and violence. “Several stakeholders, including those in the tourism industry, have written to me to say that they would support the necessary actions to bring the parish of St. James under control and restore public safety,” he said. Mr. Holness said all members of the tourism fraternity can be assured that the security forces will act in a way that will be a credit to the destination.

Tweet Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says tourism stakeholders in St. James have expressed their support for increased security measures to be taken in the parish to curb crime and violence.

“Several stakeholders, including those in the tourism industry, have written to me to say that they would support the necessary actions to bring the parish of St. James under control and restore public safety,” he said.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question during a press conference where he announced that a State of Public Emergency has been declared for the parish of St. James. The event was held at Jamaica House, today (January 18).

The Governor-General signed the Proclamation to effect the State of Public Emergency on January 18, 2018. The Proclamation has also been gazetted.

Mr. Holness said all members of the tourism fraternity can be assured that the security forces will act in a way that will be a credit to the destination.

He said the Government factored tourism and other interests before the declaration of the State of Public Emergency.

“The Government has been contemplating this action for some time. This is not an action that can be taken in an arbitrary way. It requires a great deal of planning and it is not just an action for show. It is an action where we have to plan out both the opening and the ending game, and that kind of planning takes time, but, more importantly, it takes resources to be behind it. I believe that we are at the point where the actions are now aligned with resources,” he said.

Mr. Holness said while some persons may have felt that the declaration of the area may have taken some time, “all the variables are now in alignment for a successful operation”.

“The Government cannot act without public support, and as the person in charge and given the context in which we are calling this state of emergency, having gone through one in 2010, we must always be considerate of what happened before. We must make sure that we learn from the errors and that this is not something that is arbitrary. It is not done in an arbitrary way. This is an instrumental, well-planned-out action,” he argued.

The Constitution provides that a period of public emergency can be declared by proclamation if the Governor-General is satisfied that action has been taken or is immediately threatened by any person or body of persons of such a nature and on so extensive a scale as to be likely to endanger public safety.

It means that extraordinary powers have been given to the security forces, some rights have been suspended, and members of the security forces may search places without a warrant.

Persons with information to assist in the crime-fighting effort may call Crime Stop at 311. Persons may also give information on a special hotline that will be manned by the Jamaica Defence Force. The number is 837-8888.

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