Timeline: St James State Of Emergency 2018 (#StJamesSOE)

Background to the Issue

With 335 murders in 2017 alone, St James has become a veritable crime hotspot in Jamaica. To date, the parish has presented a major challenge to police operations, so much so that Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared the parish to be in a State of Emergency (SOE). Below you will find a chronological detailing of links to news stories of the events that occur in and around the parish since this declaration, as reported by The Gleaner.

For greater background to the issue and clarity on what a state of emergency is:


Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 – State of Emergency declared by Prime Minister Andrew Holness

After news in the early morning that a major military operation was taking place in St James, Prime Minister Andrew Holness invites press to a briefing at Jamaica House, where he declares that the parish is in a State of Emergency.


Friday, Jan 19, 2018

News reports say St James residents, business owners and stakeholders are happy that the state of emergency has been enforced, curfews come into effect, and a senior cop gets in trouble for leaking information to the media.


Sun, Jan 21, 2018

The Gleaner publishes a telling article tracking the growth of crime in MoBay from lottery scamming to rampant crime and violence.


Mon, Jan 22, 2018

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says an emergency review tribunal will be established shortly to hear and consider appeals by persons who have been affected by the State of Public Emergency in St James. Head of the Jamaica Diaspora Crime Intervention and Prevention Task Force, Rupert Francis, says that the Government did the “absolute right thing” in declaring a state of emergency for St James.


Tues, Jan 23, 2018

The National Security Minister Robert Montague reports that since the declaration of the SOE, 197 persons have been detained, and four firearms and about 30 rounds of ammunition seized.The regulations governing the state of public emergency are tabled in Parliament, and a tribunal, chaired by attorney-at-law Ian Wilkinson, will be set up to review cases of detention or restriction orders under regulations 22, 33, and 34 of the Emergency Powers Act.


Wed, Jan 24, 2018

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is moving to ensure that adequate resources are in place for detainees under the state of public emergency.


Thurs, Jan 25, 2018

Families complain about the ongoing detention of some of the persons held by the security forces since the declaration of the SOE, as well as the conditions under which detainees are being housed.


Tues, Jan 30, 2018

The House of Representatives pass a resolution to extend the State of Public Emergency in St James by another three months.


Sun, Feb 4, 2018

The St James police have compiled and released a new list of persons that they say are wanted for various crimes committed in the western parish.


Mon, Feb 5, 2018

The St James police say one of Area One’s most wanted men was charged with two counts of murder and one count of wounding with intent.


Tues, Feb 6, 2018

Montague suggests changing the name of the state of emergency to protect tourism interests in St James.


Sunday, Feb 11, 2018

No murders were reported in St James in a week when 26 persons were killed across the island.

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