There a is major Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) military operation underway in St. James as the government grapples with murder statistics generally recorded only in war torn countries.
The latest initiative is in response to a surge in shootings and murders in the western parish, known as the murder capital of Jamaica.
The latest incidents occurred three hours apart near the round-a-bout to the Sangster International Airport on Tuesday leaving one man dead and three others seriously hurt.
“We have reached the point where we are now prepared to take those firm and resolute measures to ensure that the crime monster does not destabilise the promising future that is in store for Jamaica,” the Prime Minister said.
He was speaking in Mandeville Wednesday at the launch of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Fontana Pharmacy.
“Over the past months I have been observing public discourse closely on this matter. It is an emerging view that now is the time the Government should take firm and resolute measures within the context of the law, the preservation of human rights and the dignity of life,” Holness said.
He cited to the situation in Montego Bay, St James, for example, saying the people there have been experiencing distress at the hands of criminals and noted that a greater level of understanding will be needed as the new anti-crime programme is rolled out.
St. James gunmen are known to be brazen, and attack anywhere at any time. The video below was shot in 2016 and shows Montego Bay gunmen attack a man at a gas station.
The western region had well over 500 murders last year (2017). Trelawny registered by far the least, with 21. However, compare Trelawny with St James (335), Westmoreland (147) and Hanover (61).