Despite a flare-up of shootings and firebombing attacks in some Clarendon communities recently, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang has said that the Government will not yield to calls to establish a zone of special operations (ZOSO) in the parish any time soon.
Acknowledging that the country’s murder rate was the most challenging and damaging aspect of the crime situation, Chang told Gleaner editors and reporters on Tuesday that a ZOSO for the central Jamaica parish “is not one that is being looked at immediately”.
Up to February 24, Clarendon had recorded 19 murders since the start of the year, a 19 per cent increase on the 16 recorded over the corresponding period in 2020. Shootings were also up 67 per cent, with 15 incidents since January as opposed to nine for the comparative period last year. Robberies were also up by one incident – 13 in 2020 compared to 14 in 2021. Break-ins, however, have declined this year by 76 per cent, while rapes in the parish also fell by 78 per cent.
Chang noted that the southern part of Clarendon was one of the most challenging areas to police and accounts for several contraband and drugs-for-guns-related crimes.