Fri | Dec 13, 2019

Murders down by 18 per cent

Published:Thursday | August 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

The national murder rate is down 18 per cent when compared to the corresponding period of January 1 to August 18 last year, according to information from the latest Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Periodic Crime Statistics Review.

It shows that there have been 175 fewer murders for the period, with 819 recorded this year, compared to the 994 in 2017.

In addition, the data also show that there have been fewer cases of shootings, with a decrease of 131. So far this year, between January 1 and August 18, there have been 734 shootings, in comparison to the 865 over the same period last year.

The St Andrew Central Police Division has recorded 13 more murders than during the corresponding period last year when they had 43. From the start of the year to August 18, there has been a 30 per cent increase in murders, while shootings are also up nearly 62 per cent for the same period in that division.

Kingston Eastern and St Andrew South are the other two divisions to have seen increases in the murder rate.

There were seven more murders in Kingston Eastern - 39 - than for the corresponding period last year when 32 people were killed by gunmen

The parishes of St Thomas, Portland, and Trelawny are up five murders each, while St Mary is up nine murders, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Of note, there is a decrease in murders in police divisions that have in place special security measures such as the state of public emergency in St James and St Catherine North, as well as the zone of special operations in West Kingston.

At this stage last year, there were 195 murders in St James. So far this year, the parish has seen only 60, a decrease of nearly 70 per cent, thanks mainly to the overwhelming presence of the police and the military. St Catherine North has seen a 14 per cent decrease in murders over the same period.