Tue | Sep 22, 2020

Tracking crime

Published:Sunday | December 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM

  • 100 communities recorded no major crimes in 2009

  • St Thomas comes out one of cleanest

Tyrone Reid, Sunday Gleaner Reporter

The Mona GeoInformatics Institute's (MGI) mapping of major crimes committed in Jamaica last year has shown that at least 100 communities across the island were not affected by a major crime.

The parish of St Thomas has come out the cleanest with at least four of its communities recording no major crime last year.

Lisa-Gaye Webb, deputy projects manager at the MGI, revealed that 11 communities were removed from the 'zero major crimes list' for 2008 because the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for the first time supplied the institute with statistics on rape and carnal abuse.

"The total number of communities that recorded no crimes for 2008 was 111 and for 2009 it was 100," said Webb.

While the tracking shows that most of the country has zero hot spots, it showed that more communities recorded a major crime.

Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, director of the MGI, a subsidiary of the University of the West Indies (UWI), thinks the communities that did not record a major crime should be celebrated and highlighted because it brings balance to the discussion. "While some areas are war-zone mad, let's not condemn the entire country," he said.

Facilitating richer analysis

The MGI director is pleased with the intelligence-generating prospects that the supply of the additional data provides.

"The data is getting richer for analysis," he said.

Lyew-Ayee added: "A lot of data is out there that can help them (police) and the results should not just be in the hands of Kingfish. There are more ways that you can use it."

However, Lyew-Ayee said he wanted to make it clear that he was not attempting to tell the police how to fulfil their mandate of protecting, serving and reassuring.

"We are just trying to help you do your job better. We are not just a map-making institution; we are a crime analytical institution," he said.

After the data on reported rape and carnal abuse cases were added to the pool of major crimes, which include murder, shooting, robbery, larceny and break-in, the analysis done by the MGI showed that there was a reduction in the number of communities across the island that did not record a major crime when compared with 2008.

Of the 584 communities used in the analysis in 2008, 473 recorded a major crime. In 2009, that number jumped to 484.