In a last ditch effort to address the out-of-control crime wave, seven states of emergency were declared during a press conference held by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
On November 14th, Prime Minister Holness held a press conference at Jamaica House to announce that the country had declared seven states of emergency across seven different police divisions: “the rural police divisions of St James, Westmoreland and Hanover, and in the Corporate Area in the St Andrew South, Kingston Western, Kingston Central and Kingston Eastern Police divisions,” according to reporting from Loop News Jamaica.
During his press conference, Holness noted that all of the areas that are covered by the states of emergency have been dealing with major spikes in murder rates.
“All of these divisions have seen increases ranging from 16 per cent to 57 per cent,” he explained.
“All have murder rates per 100,000 in excess of the regional average which is 15 per cent. In fact, the murder rate per 100,000 in these divisions range from a low of approximately 47 per 100,000 to 190 per 100,000,” Holness added.
The Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, has said that even though police are continuing to take action to fight the rise in crime, Jamaica’s murder rate is still in the top five in the world.
Loop News Jamaica also notes that Anderson “indicated that the four police divisions in the Corporate Area where SOEs have been declared, collectively accounted for 392 murders or 32 per cent of the 1,240 homicides that have been committed in Jamaica so far this year.”
In a statement about the national rise in crime, Anderson said: “As at November 12, 2021, our serious crime data shows that we have an increase in murder, shootings have remained largely flat, but other crimes are trending downwards.”
“What this means is that we have a violence problem,” he added.