Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday said that an epidemic of violence was sweeping the country as he announced yet another state of emergency (SOE) to curb crime, which he attributed to gangs and dons taking control of communities.
At Jamaica House yesterday, where he announced that the troubled St Andrew South Police Division had been put under an SOE, Holness said that the communities in the area are being choked by gangs.
“In St Andrew South, the main cause of death is gang-related. It would probably be a little bit more than 70 per cent of deaths caused by gangs in St Andrew South,” the prime minister disclosed.
From January 1 to June 29 this year, there were 94 murders in the division, up from 79 for the corresponding period last year.
Police sources told The Gleaner yesterday that gangs in the police division were awash with cash to satisfy their insatiable appetite for guns and also used to fuel turf wars amid clashes over spoils from criminal activities.