Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that a State of Public Emergency has been imposed in the St. Catherine North public division.
This division covers a significant portion of the the parish of St. Catherine which adjoins the Kingston Metropolitan Area to the west.
Acting Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake, joining the Prime Minister at the Jamaica House press conference for the announcement, declared that the move was important to stave off a growing threat to the rule of law.
He reported that there had been 48 murders in the police division so far this year, a significant increase over the numbers recorded during the corresponding period over the previous two years.
The State of Emergency covers several major towns in St. Catherine, including the parish capital, Spanish Town, Linstead, and Bog Walk.
There is already another State of Public Emergency in the western Jamaica parish of St. James, which has had the effect of significantly reducing serious crimes, particular murders.