Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Big drop in murders in St James as other parishes face pressure

Published:Sunday | February 11, 2018 | 5:10 PMJohn Myers Jr.

Having topped the list with the highest number of murders in 2017, the parish of St James is seeing a dramatic decrease so far this year.

This is according to the latest police statistics which are showing a 50 per cent reduction in the number of murders between January 1 and February 10.

The figures show that 12 murders were recorded for the western parish between January 1 and February 10. This is compared to 24 for the same time last year.

St James is currently under a state of public emergency, now referred to as Enhanced Security Measures.

But while the number of murders in St James has been reduced significantly, all other parishes and areas of focus have seen an increase, especially in Trelawny where killings have gone up 400 per cent.

The latest figures from the police show that Trelawny, which neighbours St James, recorded five murders for the review period, as opposed to one for the similar period last year.

The other area that has seen a big jump in murders is Kingston Eastern where the number increased to nine, compared to three in the previous year.

St Andrew South is next with a 183 per cent increase at 17 murders so far. Last year, there were six murders in the area.

The eastern parish of St Thomas has seen a 166 per cent rise in murders with eight. This is compared to three over the similar period last year.

Overall, murders have gone up 14 per cent so far this year.

In the meantime, the police statistics show a decrease in other major crimes, excepting shootings which have increased slightly by 0.6 per cent and larceny which has gone up 137 per cent, moving from eight to 19 cases so far this year.

But aggravated assaults have gone down by 39 per cent, Break-ins by 20 per cent and rape by 29 per cent.

This has resulted in an overall decrease in crime in Jamaica by 5.4 per cent.