No criminal activity in 7 ZOSOs in 10 days, says Chang | Loop Jamaica

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There has been no criminal activity in any of the seven Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) over the last 10 days, Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, said on Tuesday.

The minister made the disclosure in the House of Representatives during the debate on a resolution to extend the security measure by 60 days in all seven zones.

“There has been no criminal activity in any of the zones, including Denham Town, no shootings,” said Chang.

Denham Town in violence-prone West Kingston was the second ZOSO declared in 2017 after Mount Salem in Montego Bay, St James. The area had seen a flare-up in gang activity recently.

The other ZOSOs are Norwood in St James, Parade Gardens in Kingston, Savanna-la-Mar South in Westmoreland, and August Town and Greenwich Town in St Andrew. The outlook in all the communities is positive as they continue to see a reduction in criminal activities.

As of June 12, there have been no murders reported in the ZOSOs, Chang said.

For his part, Opposition Leader Mark Golding supported the extension of the ZOSOS but lamented that crime was out of control in other sections of the island, including Spanish Town, which has seen a violent flare-up over the past two weeks that has left more than a dozen people dead. At least six of those were killed in several incidents on Tuesday.

“The ZOSO is an important aspect of the solution, but it is insufficient. We look forward to hearing, as time goes by, in the near future, further strategies that are being employed [by the government],” Golding said.

The Opposition Leader, who is the Member of Parliament for the tough St Andrew South constituency, said he was pleased to see the increase in the number of illegal firearms being seized by the security forces.

“We applaud that, and we hope that that continues, and we would like to see that reflected in a reduction in the number of shootings and murders, in particular, involving firearms, which we haven’t yet seen, but we’re hoping to see,” he said.

The House of Representatives approved the 60-day extension of the ZOSOs.