Clarendon SOE too little, too late

September 18, 2019

Two weeks after Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced a state of public emergency (SOE) in Clarendon to curtail crime and violence in the parish, some residents say this declaration may have come a little too late.

According to Tavaughn Russell, while the SOE is a step in the right direction, he would like to see more done as it relates to charges being filed against wrongdoers.

"The SOE should have come earlier, like further up inna di year. Clarendon been hot long time. A nuh now dat a happen. Mi jus hope dem nuh jus search di man dem and den detain dem and let dem back out. A deh suh mi woulda really wah si something else do, because a dah part deh nah help," he said.

Tanzea Williams told CENTRAL STAR that while the SOE was necessary, she is unsure of its effectiveness. "The only reason I feel safe now is because the soldiers are here. Because they're here, criminals are going to feel intimidated. They're not going to carry out their gruesome acts. I don't know how long it will last, but I am grateful for the time that it will, because I would appreciate one month of walking in May Pen and feeling safe, as opposed to never ever feeling that way," she said. "Personally, I don't think that it will be effective because I don't see how it was effective in other parishes; but as it is now temporarily, I feel safe."

One resident told CENTRAL STAR that since the security personnel would only be around for a few months, the Government needs to implement a long-term strategy for crime-fighting.

"Di badman dem a go come out same way, killing people same way, suh mi nuh si it mek no sense. Dem (security forces) stop yuh pon di road, dig dung yuh vehicle, dem tek weh yuh bike, dem lock it up a station. Mi nuh si how dem something deh mek sense, 'cause di bad man dem deh up a bush a hide a wait fi dem gone, fi dem come out come do dem act," he said. "Yuh feel like a only three gun deh a Farm? Out a all a di gun dem weh deh a Farm, dem only find three. Dat mek sense? Dem tek out the wulla up a camp send come dung yah and a only three gun dem find."

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