Sun | Dec 17, 2017

We got it wrong ... Security Council admits Mount Salem murder figures incorrect

Published:Tuesday | September 5, 2017 | 4:23 PM

The National Security Council has admitted that it gave the wrong figure for murders committed in Mount Salem, St. James, when it named the community as the first zone of special operations.

But it says it stands by its decision to declare the community a zone.

In a release this afternoon, the council said the decision to declare Mount Salem as the first zone was justified based on the relevant legal criteria, intelligence, and the strategic and operational considerations of the Joint Command.

When the zone was announced on Friday, the police claimed that there were 54 murders in Mount Salem, since the start of the year.

But local political representatives and residents rejected those claims saying about 12 people had been killed in Mount Salem.

The council has now admitted the error but says the murder figure was only a single element of the data provided, and the error would not have changed the recommendation made by the Joint Command.

The council is also holding off on providing the revised murder figure for Mount Salem, saying it first wants the Jamaica Constabulary Force to review its systems of data collection and collation.

It says it’s anticipating that the correct information will be provided within the next 48 hours.

The security council says while it is sensitive to the concerns of the residents regarding stigmatisation, it does not believe it is acceptable that persons in the community live in fear. 

And it's calling for all law-abiding members of the community to stand with the security forces against criminal elements.