The Government is going to Parliament this afternoon (June 20) with another request for a further 60-day extension of the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) declared in seven areas across Jamaica last year.
The seven areas are Denham Town and Parade Gardens in Kingston; Norwood and Mount Salem, St James; Greenwich Town and August Town, St Andrew and Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland.
These ZOSOs have benefitted from at least three extensions with the last one coming in April this year. In moving a resolution, which he tabled in parliament requesting for the extension last April, National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang pointed to police statistics showing that the ZOSOs are working.
Crime data for ZOSO areas
The data showed then that as of April 13, all communities under a ZOSO order continue to record reductions in all major crimes, including murders and shootings. Chang, who also serves as deputy Jamaican prime minister, pointed to Mount Salem, which has seen a 60 per cent reduction in murders and 63 per cent decline in shootings over the period.
At the same time Denham Town recorded a 13 per cent reduction in murders and 40 per cent fall in shootings. For Greenwich Town, there was a 35 per cent reduction in murders and a 70 per cent fall in shootings, while August Town experienced a 64 per cent drop in murders and a 78 per cent reduction in shootings.
Norwood recorded a 56 per cent fall in murders, as Parade Gardens experienced a 93 per cent drop in murders and a 91 per cent fall in shootings. Savanna-la-Mar saw a similar 93 per cent reduction in murders and a 75 per cent fall in shootings.
Chang told the House of Representatives that progress is being made in these communities assuring that the Government remains committed to further supporting long-term sustainable development within these zones.
He stated that these areas continue to transition along the clear, hold-and-build phase explaining that Mount Salem and Denham Town are in the build phase, Greenwich Town in the hold-and-build phase, while August Town, Norwood, Savanna-la-mar and Parade Gardens will continue in the hold phase during the extension period.
The national security minister was anticipating additional funding to further expand the ZOSOs’ reach.