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Jamaica: PM Slams SOE ‘Hypocrisy’

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday took a swipe at the critics over their “hypocrisy” in calling for an end to states of emergency (SOEs) across the island last year.

Pointing out that the Government has spent $40 billion on equipping the security forces with hardware, software, and training to tackle crime and violence over the past four years, he admitted that the returns have not yet been commensurate with the expenditure.

“Some of the software strategy has been taken away. We no longer have SOEs (states of emergency), and it would be interesting to analyse what has been the effect of removing the capacity of the SOEs ’cause there is a great deal of hypocrisy,” said Holness as he delivered yesterday’s keynote address at the National Day of Prayer – Heal the Family, Heal the Nation service at the Power of Faith Ministries in Portmore, St Catherine.

“The same people who say do away with the SOEs, they are the same ones who are on the phone calling the [police] commissioner to say bring the police back into my area,” he said, adding that the initiatives should be credited for a reduction in homicides last year.

The SOEs in several police divisions across the island were brought to an end ahead of the general election last year.

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