The St James state of emergency has been extended for the third time. This latest extension will take the SOE to August 2nd, 2018.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Security made the case for the extension in Parliament. Dr Chang, in particular, emphasised the fact that there were over 30 gangs in St James and more time is needed to dismantle them.
Gangs are now rich and independent
Unlike older generations of gang members, these new ones do not need to wait for handouts from politicians. They are wealthy enough to buy their own guns, ammunition and support from the local community.
Dr Chang used the example of the recent killing of Nico “Bowza” Samuels in Ironshore, St James.
“Bowza” was able to stock up on guns and ammunition, so much in fact that he could engage the security forces for 2 hours straight.
Even after he was killed, he still had extra ammunition and 3 guns with him. Four members of the security forces were injured in that exchange.
This happened in Ironshore
This gun battle with “Bowza” did not happen in Flankers. It happened in the wealthy neighbourhood of Ironshore, St James. Criminals are now wealthy enough to live in these communities and plan and operate from inside their confines.
The local residents are actually in support of the SOE. They were some of the people crying out for the extension as even though it is somewhat an inconvenience to travel around the parish, they are enjoying the reduction in crime.
The security forces seem to be doing a good job of respecting the rights of civilians as there is no large cry from the residents of being abused.
We hope this continues and the security forces can do their job without resorting to the brute force treatment of innocent people that have ruined their reputation in the past.