The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), The Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) are calling for an urgent meeting with the leadership of both the Government and the Opposition, with a view to address concerns and review the issues surrounding the decision, prior to the dates of expiration of the State of Emergencies.
In a joint release the JMEA, PSOJ and the JCC says that the State of Emergency anti-crime initiatives has been effective in reducing the level of crime in the areas implemented. Adding that in St. James there has been a 72% reduction in murder and a 63% reduction in shootings.
The group said they note the concerns regarding the treatment of detainees and the broader human rights issues. However, at the same time, they recognize that crime is one of the biggest infringements on the very rights we are trying to protect.
The private sector groups said they are aware of the ferocious impact of crime, violence and corruption on the Jamaican people and economy. It is based on this stark reality that they seek to address the impasse that now faces the Government and Opposition on the State of Emergency (SOE).
The release added that ‘it is important that we assess the initiatives that are put in place to ensure that we reap the desired results and explore ways to balance the scale between competing rights’.
The group’s request follows the decision by the parliamentary opposition on Tuesday to not support the extension of the SOEs in St James, St Catherine North and the Corporate Area.