Mon | Jul 22, 2019

SOE relaxation! - Extension of hours granted to businesses in St James

Published:Saturday | December 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMHopeton Bucknor/ Gleaner Writer
A policeman conducting a search with the assistance of the Jamaica Defence Force in St James.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Christmas shoppers, vendors, and the business community in St James will be allowed extended hours to do business over the Christmas season as the ongoing state of public emergency (SOE) will be relaxed, allowing extra hours for commercial activities.

Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony Morris, who will serve as the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) commanding officer for the SOE in St James over the next 13 days, told The Gleaner that the plan was now ready to be rolled out.

"Although it is not yet official, I can safely say that we will be extending the lockdown time in St James," said Morris. "We are looking at an extension to 12 midnight for weekdays and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

"We have started scaling down all our police departments, and these officers have been deployed on the streets," said Morris. "Residents will now see a much larger contingent of police officers who have been deployed throughout every major street in Montego Bay. We will be paying special attention to the town centre, the transport centre, the entire business community, and the Elegant Corridor."

Morris said that in a bid to curb crime, the police would be focusing on the safety of shoppers who have been traditionally targeted by petty thieves and pickpockets.

"We have the support of the military, and so with the increased numbers, we are confident that we have the capacity to adequately cover all the areas we would normally be concerned about," said Morris.

Despite being under SOE restrictions, St James has still had 96 murders since the start of the year.