The St Catherine South police division is reporting fewer than 100 murders for 2012, marking the second straight year that homicide figures have plunged in the populous and expansive area that includes Portmore.
Murders in St Catherine South stood at 99 in 2012, dipping from 125 in 2011. In 2010, the homicide figures stood at 148.
Superintendent Clive Blair, operations officer for the division, told The Gleaner he was particularly proud of the near one-third reduction in murders in two years.
The operations officer lauded citizens and those under his command for their unrelenting push against criminals.
"That level of success largely depended on intelligence-driven operations, improve-ments in preparing proper case files, submitting those files to the court, and getting relevant convictions, as well as increasing operational activities," he told The Gleaner.
Blair was among four senior police personnel from Area Five and St Catherine South who were presented with plaques by business interests in the division in recognition of the lawmen's resolve to break the back of organised crime and gangs.
Urged to press on
Caymanas Track Limited, National Commercial Bank, and other members of the Portmore business community lauded Acting Commissioner Novlette Grant, Senior Superintendent Colin Pinnock, Blair, and Detective Inspector Paul Thomas, urging them to press on in their fight against lawlessness.
In response, Blair gave the assurance that even more ambitious goals had been set for 2013.
"We are preparing our plans and will again hit the criminals where it hurts most," he said, noting that the division's recovery of guns had been instrumental in reducing the murder numbers.
"Over the three-year period, we would have recovered a lot of guns by way of intelligence and engagement between police and gunmen. The public also assisted us well," the superintendent pointed out.