On 29 June, Jamaica’s parliament approved a three-month extension of the state of emergency (SOE) in St Catherine North parish, declared in March 2018.
This followed that in St James parish, where tourist area Montego Bay is located, in January 2018. The army has been deployed to support the police, and given the prerogative to stop and search without a warrant and set up checkpoints. The government said that homicides and shootings in St Catherine have declined by 26%, while St James recorded 62 fewer homicides in January–April 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Homicide rates in Jamaica have increased since 2014, reaching 59 per 100,000 in 2017, on official statistics, driven by gang activity related to drug trafficking, lottery scams, and extortion, and the circulation of illegal guns.
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