Over 200 persons slain since start of year
At least 204 persons have been killed since the start of the year, a 17 per cent increase when compared with the corresponding period last year, according to the latest statistics compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
This percentage hike equates to 29 more murders than the 175 committed between January 1 and February 17 last year.
The St Catherine North Police Division, which includes Spanish Town, a hotbed of violence for many years, recorded 30 murders during the period. That is followed by Clarendon with 27; St Andrew South, 21; and St Catherine South, 15.
Having ended 2017 with a record 335 murders last year, St James, which has been under a state of public emergency since January 18, recorded 13 murders during the period - 15 fewer than the same period last year.
As was the case last year, Portland recorded a single murder during the period.
The Kingston Central Police Division registered two, while St Elizabeth had three.
Meanwhile, other serious and violent crimes and acquisitory crimes such as robbery, rape and aggravated assault have decreased when compared to last year's corresponding period.