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Murder rate down in Jamaica


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KINGSTON – Murders for the first two weeks of June are trending downwards when compared with the same period last year, but the police are not ready to credit the decline to their late-May push to dismantle gangs in Kingston. Police statistics obtained by The Gleaner show that 33 murders were reported up to June 13, falling from 62 for the similar period last year and 65 for the corresponding time frame in 2008. However, the data also shows that 15 of the 33 murders were committed from June 7 to 13, with seven coming on Sunday alone, making it one of the bloodiest days in recent weeks. The military incursion into Tivoli Gardens on May 24 to arrest accused drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke was effectively used as a launching pad to neutralise gangs which have turned poor communities into criminal fortresses. Since then, the police have imposed curfews in many sections of the capital, netting at least 86 illegal firearms and more than 13 000 rounds of ammunition. (Jamaica Gleaner)