The Jamaica government today declared a State of Public Emergency in the parishes of Clarendon, St Catherine and sections of Kingston and St Andrew in response to escalating crime.

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, told reporters at a news conference that the increase in crime and violence presents a threat to property and public order.

He said the Jamaica government, after careful consideration and on the advice of the security chiefs, had decided to advise the Governor General that it was necessary to declare States of Public Emergency in these areas.

The Prime Minister noted that over the last six months there has been a significant increase in murders on the island.

He added that, like Jamaica, “right across the region, in particular along the Caribbean basin, societies are experiencing a persistent increase in homicides, shootings and other dangerous crimes”.

Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, told the news conference that as at November 13th, Jamaica had recorded a total of one thousand, 360 murders compared to one thousand, 231 for the same period of last year.

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