Despite the government's insistence that crime is trending down as a result of the use of states of emergency, the Parliamentary Opposition is adamant the measure is not working.
Speaking Wednesday as the Senate debated two motions to extend the states of emergency in five parishes, Opposition Senator Lambert Brown stated that more people are dying even as the measure remains in force.
Senator Brown, who was among three senators who abstained during Wednesday's vote, accused the government of putting a spin on the crime data.
"More people are dying than when there's no state of emergency in the entire country called Jamaica. That's the police data, and I challenge you on that side to counter the police data," he said.
"The police data revealed that...10 of the 19 police divisions have seen more murders this year than last year despite the state of emergency," he pointed out.
Senator Brown also said the states of emergency have not been effective in helping to recover guns or arrest gangsters.
"If your state of emergency is only to allow the people to park their guns for a while but you don't take the guns from them during your state of emergency, it is not sustainable because the guns will come up. So from last year January you have state of emergency in St. James, you shouldn't be seeing more people being killed this year. No! The guns should have been seized. But the guns are out there, the gangs are out there and the dons are still out there," he lamented.
Senator Brown said he hoped Thursday's meeting of national stakeholders on crime will result in the government turning away from the use of states of emergency in the current manner.
The Senate eventually approved the extension of the states of emergency in St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland, St. Catherine and Clarendon.