Close to 900 murders in eight months - Data reveal 21 per cent increase over last year
Jamaica is on the verge of recording 900 murders this year, with more than four months still remaining.
Since January 1, according to statistics compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), 891 persons have been killed across the island, 158, or 21 per cent, more than for the corresponding period last year.
By comparison, New York City in the United States, which has a population of 8.53 million residents, recorded 86 murders up to the first week of July, for a 14 per cent reduction when compared to the similar period last year. Jamaica's population stands at approximately 2.8 million.
However, the Jamaican police, in their latest Periodic Serious and Violent Crime Review, reported that between January 1 and last Saturday, St James alone recorded 177 murders to lead all parishes. This figure is 16 per cent ahead of last year's pace when the parish recorded an historic 252 murders.
CORPORATE AREA FIGURES
Portland remains the safest parish, with just four murders so far this year, down from five at this point last year.
The JCF data revealed, too, that the number of persons killed in the Corporate Area jumped 35 per cent to 398, as all but two of the eight police divisions reported an increase in murders over the corresponding period last year.
In St Andrew North, murders were up 192 per cent; in St Andrew South, killings were up 94 per cent, while murders were up 81 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively, in the Kingston West and Kingston East divisions, which have seen an outbreak of gang warfare.
According to the JCF data, a total of 502 persons were killed in rural parishes, with
St James, Westmoreland, Clarendon, and Hanover accounting for 385 of those murders. Hanover recorded the biggest increase, with 40 murders, compared to 20 for the corresponding period last year.