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03 Feb 2020 | 01:07 AM UTC

Jamaica: State of emergency declared in Eastern Kingston January 26 /update 10

Parliament approves state of emergency in Eastern Kingston as of January 26; heightened security measures expected

security
transportation
JAM

Event

Parliament approved a State of Emergency (SoE) in Eastern Kingston as of Sunday, January 26, due to high violent crime rates. This includes the Michael Manley Boulevard, South Camp Road, and Mountain View Avenue areas. SoEs are already in place in six other parishes: St. Andrew SouthSt. CatherineClarendonHanoverWestmoreland; and St. James, until at least Thursday, February 4. Further extensions are possible in the coming days and weeks if the security situation does not improve.

Heightened security measures, including checkpoints, and an increase in police operations are anticipated in areas under the SOE in the near term.

Context

States of Public Emergency have been implemented intermittently across multiple parishes since January 2018 due to rising crime rates. During "states of emergency," police and military personnel are given the authority to search people and buildings, curtail business hours, and detain individuals without a warrant.

Advice

Individuals present in the aforementioned areas, and across greater Jamaica, are advised to remain vigilant, follow all instructions issued by local authorities, and exercise basic security precautions (e.g. keep signs of wealth concealed, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, etc.).