For months residents have been calling for enhanced security measures in August Town, St Andrew to quell tensions between rival gangs who have been conducting a campaign of fear in the community. Just last week a soldier and a civilian were shot during an alleged gunfight between soldiers and gunmen. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the extraordinary crime situation in the community warrants a zone of special operations.
Before the Prime Minister’s announcement, a military and police presence were already in place throughout the community, stopping vehicles and pedestrians. A resident tells our news team he has been living in fear and is now slightly relieved and confident of better days.
This is the second Zone of Special Operation (ZOSO) to be announced by the Prime Minister in just over a week and the third to be declared across Kingston and St. Andrew.
Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson says there are at least seven active gangs in August Town that are responsible for the unending violence.
A ZOSO is a crime-fighting mechanism first introduced in 2017 to dismantle criminality through social intervention and community development.
Councilor Venesha Phillips says she is please with the enhanced security intervention. There are now four zones of special operations across the country.