Jamaica: Communities on lock down
Access to several communities in Western Jamaica and the Corporate Area have been restricted as part of the government’s anti-crime measures being enforced in a bid to maintain a grip on major crimes, especially murder. Although the country experienced a seven per cent decline in 2012 to record a total of 1087 murders- the lowest toll in nine years – it remains too high. National Security Minister, Peter Bunting has said several measures, which include increased intelligence-driven operations, will be implemented to further reduce the numbers this year. As result a number of curfews, which were enforced yesterday evening, have been imposed in about 39 communities across the parishes of St James, Westmoreland, St Catherine, St Andrew and Kingston. The enforcement is to be lifted this evening. The communities under lock down by the security forces include Grants Pen, Cassava Piece and Castle Heights in St Andrew North; Ellerslie Pen, Lauriston and St John’s Road in St Catherine North; Trench Town and Denham Town in West Kingston; Rose Heights and Flankers in St James and Bethel Town and sections of Grange Hill in Westmoreland. Communities in August Town in Central St Andrew and Portmore Lane and Newlands in St Catherine South are also under curfew. Persons within the boundaries of the areas under curfew are to remain in their premises unless otherwise authorized by the security personnel in charge of the enforcement. In addition to more robust operations, Minister Bunting says 5,000 police officers and soldiers are to be trained. He says more intelligence-driven vehicle check points will also be implemented.