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Jamaica records decrease in major crimes


Jamaica records decrease in major crimes

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KINGSTON – Jamaica is reporting an 11 per cent reduction in major crimes for the first five months of this year as compared to the same period last year.

Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Crime, Fitz Bailey, said that 2 325 major crimes were recorded between January 1 and May 31, as compared to 2 621 last year.

“This represents a reduction of 269 or 11 per cent; all major crimes are down,” he said, adding that gang activity, as well as domestic-related and interpersonal violence, played a significant role in the number of murders committed.

Bailey reported that the clear-up rate for major crimes for the period was 41 per cent due to better prepared cases, more arrests and convictions.

“We have employed an investigative strategy, which involved greater capacity building for the investigators, improved case management system, case conferences and reviews as well as linked investigations.”

Over the period, 3 304 people were charged for 5 082 incidents of serious crimes, with 808 charged for category-one crimes, including murder, shooting, larceny, robbery, rape, burglary, aggravated assault.

In addition, 227 firearms have been recovered and 13 kilograms of marijuana valued at J$138 million seized.

So far this year, more than 550 people have been murdered in Jamaica, but Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, said the States of Public Emergency (SOEs) continue to be an effective strategy in reducing crime.

He said that in Westmoreland, there is a 48 per cent drop in murders and a 39 per cent reduction in shootings, while in the north-western town of Hanover, murder is down 56 per cent while shooting is down 67 per cent.

“In St. James, we are seeing an increase but . . .  [the parish] has the lowest rate of homicides there in the last… 17 years,” he said, adding that the rate of homicides and violence in St. James has been significantly reduced when compared to the period prior to the declaration of the SOE.

“In Kingston Eastern…we have had a 68 per cent drop in murders and a 72 per cent drop in shootings. In St. Andrew South, we’ve had a five per cent drop in murders and an 18 per cent drop in shootings,” the Commissioner said. (CMC)