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Jamaica: Government Using All Tools To Fight Crime – Chang

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang veered away from speaking to the legal implications surrounding the out-of-use special security measures in the form of states of public emergency (SOE) as the Government’s main crime-fighting weapon, and instead reiterated the administration’s effort to use whatever available tool to drive down violent crime.

States of emergency were declared in five parishes – St James, Westmoreland, Hanover, Clarendon and St Catherine – and were later added to sections of the Corporate Area to include the Kingston Western and Kingston Central police divisions to stem the tide of violent crime, and were withdrawn by an act of Parliament to facilitate the September 3 general election.

It was not without its criticisms, however, as concerns began pouring in about the legality of the length of detention of persons held under the Emergency Powers Act, frequently causing the Government to be defending its position on the matter.

Chang, who was speaking with residents of Glendale and Three Oaks Gardens in the St Andrew North West constituency of fellow Cabinet member Dr Nigel Clarke, said the SOEs are a legal matter being addressed by Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte and her team of legal consultants.

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