Senate approves SOE extension in St. Andrew South

Senators Pearnel Charles Jnr and Lambert Brown
The Senate has approved the extension of the state of emergency in the St. Andrew South Police Division until October 5.
Speaking in the debate on the resolution to extend the measure on Friday, Government Senator Pearnel Charles Jnr urged Opposition senators to support the motion, saying it was the best option at this time. 
"I would never say here that this is a perfect measure. It's not a measure that I think should be permanent in any way. The question that I asked at the last instance has not been answered. Give me a viable alternative and I will vote for it. Give me an option that has worked in the past under Senator Knight, under any other National Security Minister on either side. Tell me what you think can be done," he demanded.  
Crime meeting delayed 
In the meantime, Opposition Senator Lambert Brown again questioned the delay by the government to hold a multi-stakeholder meeting on crime.
He noted that there have been several cancellations after a date had been set for the meeting. 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that the government could continue to use states of emergency to control crime for another five to seven years.
He said the goal is to get the murder rate to 500 annually.
More than 620 murders have been committed since the start of this year.

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