Youths committed 90 per cent of murders - McGregor
Former commanding officer for the St James police, acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Steve McGregor, who now leads the police's safety and security branch, says that 90 per cent of all murders committed in Jamaica since 2005 were done by young people.
He gave the statistic while addressing the St James High School's inaugural Grade 11 Empowerment Seminar, which was held at the Hilton Rose Hall hotel in Montego Bay on Wednesday.
"Young people make up 90 per cent of those killed in our country for the last 13 years, and upwards of 90 per cent of those doing the killings are young people. This same statistic relates to the over 300 murders that St James recorded last year," McGregor told the students in attendance.
"These triple, quadruple, and quintuple murders that we are having, guess who are responsible? It is youngsters like you because they are eager to prove to the older gang members that they can make 'duppy', too," McGregor added.
Last year, St James had the highest murder tally out of Jamaica's total of 1,616 killings, with 335 murders being recorded in the division.
The bloodletting prompted the first zone of special operations in the Mt Salem community in September, and earlier this month, a state of emergency was instituted across the entire parish.
During Wednesday's seminar, McGregor announced a new supervised curfew programme aimed at getting young people away from criminal elements. The programme will start in Mt Salem.
"In December, we trained 20 monitors for our police-supervised curfew programme, which will see us getting young people off the streets by 9 p.m. We are making every effort to change the possibility of you being lured into gangs, and Mt Salem is the first community that this programme will be rolled out in (in St James)," said McGregor.