Monday 22 July, 2019

Custos signals growing fear in St James over pending SOE end

File photo: Custos of St James Conrad Pitkin

File photo: Custos of St James Conrad Pitkin

The Custos of St James, Rev Conrad Pitkin, is expressing that a feeling of fear and anxiety has gripped the people of the parish over the possibility of a return of the level of killings which existed there prior to the state of emergency (SOE), which is scheduled to end on January 31, 2019.

“We don’t know what will happen come 2019, but I am cognisant that there is a level of uncertainty and apprehension that is gripping us at this time,” Pitkin stated.

Speaking at the St James Municipal Corporation’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony and concert in the historic Sam Sharpe Square on Sunday, the custos hailed members of the security forces for their efforts to stem crime in the parish.

Since the declaration of the SOE in St James on January 18 this year, the parish has enjoyed a 70 per cent reduction in murders.

“The very presence of all of you (people) here this evening is a testament that since January of 2018, St James and Montego Bay have been a more peaceful community to live in; that you have felt more secure in this parish and in this city. We must say thanks to God and the security forces for the sense of peace that we now enjoy,” Pitkin stressed.

The Opposition Peoples National Party (PNP) last week voted not to support a further extension of the states of emergency in James, the St Catherine North Police Division and sections of the Corporate Area.

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