Jamaica to keep up crime fight
KINGSTON – The Jamaica government says it will continue its fight against crime even as the island recorded as reported a 44 per cent reduction in murders, during the first quarter of 2011 when compared to the corresponding period of 2010.
“We cannot sit on the laurels of the achievement of the reduction in figures, because the figure is still too high,” said National Security Minister Dwight Nelson.
“So, we will continue our pursuit and we are determined, and I am assured that the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) share this determination and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF)…to slash the crime rate,” he added.
Nelson said that during the first quarter period 238 murders were committed, compared to 426 for the corresponding quarter of last year.
The Security Minister also reported a 14 per cent decline in major crimes committed during the quarter, including murder, shooting, rape, carnal abuse, robbery, break-ins and larceny.
He said that shootings, considered one of the two key indicators of major crimes with murder being the other, decreased over the period by 38 per cent.
“The data highlights 273 shooting incidents for the first three months of 2011, compared to 442 for the corresponding period in 2010.”
Nelson said that police divisions in the Corporate Area showed noticeable declines in murder rates over the three-month period, adding that the trend also continued in some of the “hotbed” communities in rural police divisions.
“In St. James, for example, which up to a few months ago was a cause of major headaches for the security forces, St. James has seen a 50 per cent decline in murders for the 2011 period,” he revealed.
Nelson attributed the success to significant support initiatives from his Ministry, as well as increased operational support from both the JCF and the JDF.
Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Glenmore Hinds, said the dismantling of gangs played a significant role in the decline in criminal activities.
“As a part of our anti-gang strategy special days were designated as anti-gang days and anti-robbery days, these days were not advertised, we did our work quietly but precisely and these showed significant results.
“One of the main tools in our crime fighting is to vigorously stop and search, what we refer to as road policing, this is aimed primarily at disrupting itinerant criminals,” Hinds said. (CMC)