Double-digit reduction in all major crimes, Bunting commends police
The National Security Minister Peter Bunting has released preliminary statistics indicating a double-digit reduction in all major crimes last year.
Bunting made the revelation in a letter, copied to the media, which he sent to the Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams, commending Jamaica’s police personnel.
According to the figures, there has been an overall 16 per cent reduction in serious and violent crimes.
MAJOR CRIME REDUCTIONS
Murder: down 16 per cent
Shootings: down 12 per cent
Rape: down 23 per cent
Aggravated assault: down 17 per cent
Acquisitory crimes: down by 10.5 per cent
There has also been a 54 per cent reduction in police fatal shootings.
In addition, Bunting says with the focus on serious crimes, there was a 19 per cent drop in arrests by the police, primarily for minor offences.
At the same time, he said there was a virtual elimination of the use of police curfews.
SEE: FULL TEXT OF BUNTING'S LETTER TO THE COMMISSIONER
I have just received the preliminary Serious Crime Review for 2014 and, through you, I wish to commend the men and women of the JCF for a strong performance. A reduction of 16% in serious and violent crime in a single year is very significant and compares favourably with almost any other area of social or economic life. Every category showed double digit reductions: murder down 16%; shooting by 12%; rape by 23%; and aggravated assault by 17%. Acquisitory crimes were also down by 10.5%.
I’m particularly pleased with the greater attention to appropriate use of force reflected in the 54% reduction in police fatal shootings as well as the focus on serious crimes, which is reflected in the 19% reduction in arrests, primarily for minor offences. The virtual elimination of the use of curfews by the JCF is another signal of its increased concern with the rights of citizens - in this case their right to freedom of movement.
Many Divisional Commanders and their teams embraced the partnership approach advocated by the Ministry under the Unite for Change initiative. As a result, encouraging reductions in murder is occurring in a number of our toughest urban police divisions including St. Andrew Central at -40%, St. Andrew South at -39%, and Kingston West at -22%. The contribution of church, schools, civil society groups, and citizens of goodwill who throughout the year supported the scores of peace activities such as marches, church services, youth fairs, football competitions, etc. must also be acknowledged.
Most rural police divisions also recorded double digit reductions in murder but St. Thomas at -63%, Westmoreland at -43%, and St. Elizabeth at - 32% deserve special mention for their exceptional results.
What is truly extraordinary is that these results were achieved under extremely tight fiscal constraints, particularly as it affected force mobility but also in other areas including equipment. Like all public servants the police have been under wage restraint for the last five years, yet their performance has been strong. Credit must go both to the inspiring leadership of the gazetted officers and especially to the unwavering commitment of the men and women of the JCF to serve, protect, and reassure the people of Jamaica notwithstanding these challenges.
I am proud of the JCF’s performance in 2014 and urge you to continue to improve on these results in 2015. Please extend my best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy 2015 to all members of the JCF and rest assured that you can count on the continued support of the Ministry.
Peter Bunting M.P.
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