Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (September 28) convened a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).
The Council received updates from the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force regarding the progress of operations in the Mount Salem community of St. James, where the first Zone of Special Operations was declared on September 1, 2017.
The Council was informed of the progress made in the Zone, which has recorded no reports of abuses by the Joint Force or by the citizenry, who are largely supportive of the intervention. The Prime Minister lauded the level of professionalism which has been displayed by the Joint Force in the execution of their duties. He further urged that this high standard be maintained and serve as an example of the service that must be offered across the entire country.
He further stated that the high standard of professionalism will serve to build trust within the community. Mr Holness likewise stressed the pivotal contribution that citizens must themselves make in assisting to restore order and the rule of law.
The Council also considered the planning and progress of community development initiatives in the Zone. This included a review of the framework and the initial plan of the Social Intervention Committee, which was presented to and accepted by the NSC.
Prime Minister Holness expressed his concern about the recent attacks on members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support the Security Forces in the execution of their duties. He encouraged the police to remain professional and urged that they remain committed and not be intimidated by the actions of criminals.
The Council took note of concerns raised in the media by the Independent Commission (INDECOM). As a result, Prime Minister Holness has instructed the Commissioner of Police to disaggregate the data on police shootings and provide a report as to whether these incidents occurred in the course of legitimate police action.