The Government has declared a state of emergency (SOE) for St Catherine.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a press conference at Jamaica House on Friday morning.
The SOE was declared following Tuesday’s gun attack that sent people scampering in the busy Spanish Town market district, resulting in two people being killed and the imposition of a 48-hour curfew in some communities to get a handle on the apparent spiraling crime.
Overall, it was a bloody day in or near Spanish Town Tuesday, with several other killings and shooting incidents.
According to Holness, the emergency powers were necessary because “violence is a disease” that has swept across the country.
“The Government of Jamaica has to act. We cannot sit by and see innocent Jamaicans going about their business, on their way to work, and from the market, and having to be scurrying for their lives,” he said.
“The Government has to act. That is the Government’s responsibility. We, of course, must act within the boundaries of our laws and constitution,” he added
For his part, Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, said the SOE has proven to be effective in reducing murders across troubled areas in the past.