Brigadier General Radgh Mason, Brigade Commander of the Jamaica Regiment
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has revealed that it has just under 3,000 members of the Jamaica Regiment deployed in hotspots across the country as it assists the police to curtail crime during the Yuletide Season.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday revealed that 400 additional soldiers were deployed in response to the spike in crime last month.
Brigadier General Radgh Mason, Brigade Commander of the Jamaica Regiment, said the areas of concentration for the JDF are St. James, St. Andrew South, St. Catherine South, Kingston Central and Kingston East.
Three of the police divisions are under a state of emergency.
Brigadier Mason said enough soldiers have been deployed to support the police.
He brushed aside a question of whether soldiers have complained of exhaustion, instead quoting statistics which he said showed that the support of the JDF has helped to decrease crime in certain areas.
Brigadier Mason said statistics indicate that up to Thursday morning, there were 19 more murders compared to the same time last year.
He said, despite the relative success of the states of emergency in reducing crime, the country has a long way to go, as it is still in the top five countries for murders per hundred thousand.
He argued that the murder rate must be reduced to at least half of the current number before any major success can be touted.
Brigadier Mason was speaking Thursday on The Morning Agenda on Power 106.