The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is welcoming the declaration of another State of Public Emergency in St James.

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state-of-emergency.jpgHowever, president Winston Lawson is pleading for restrictions on businesses hours to be reasonable.

It was one of the complaints last year when a similar measure was declared in St James.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness this morning announced states of public emergency for St James, Westmoreland and Hanover in response to the reported 105 murders across the three parishes since January.

The security measures will remain in effect initially for 14 days.

"Our primary concern is that lives are not lost, and we are always prepared to meet the sacrifice, but we want to hope that some consideration can be given as to how we can find some common ground in terms of the opening hours for our businesses," said Lawson.

The second-term chamber president bemoaned that three months after the earlier year-long state of emergency expired in St James, crime had again become a major problem.

"The scourge of crime was upon us again, so we welcome the move and we think it is something that will immediately address the haemorrhaging that we saw," he said.

Lawson said that chamber members have been urged to use their resources to help in the fight against crime in St James, including registering of security cameras on the JamaicaEye national security system.