Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Criminals in Jamaica are literally getting away with murders and other serious crimes as the Jamaican police continue to report paltry clear-up rates for some of the most serious offences.
According to data compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), there has been 154 reported murders in the first seven weeks of this year, but only 18 per cent or 29 of these cases have been cleared up.
This represents a decline from the 20 per cent clear-up rate that police investigators achieved for the 187 murders reported over the corresponding period last year.
The JCF data also revealed that over the same seven-week period this year, there has been 154 reported shootings, with just 16 per cent or 40 cases cleared up; 81 reported cases of rape, with 32 per cent or 26 cases cleared up and 72 reported cases of aggravated assault, with just two cases cleared up.
In the last five years, the statistics show that there have been a total of 937 reported murders over the first seven weeks each year, but only 17.4 per cent, or 163 of them have been cleared up.
A case is considered by the JCF to be cleared up when a suspect is arrested and charged with the crime in question.
Asked to explain some of the factors that contribute to the paltry clear-up rate, director of communications for the JCF Karl Angell declined to comment.
The clear-up rate was even more dismal for some of the offences labelled by the police as acquisitory crimes.
According to the statistics, a copy of which was obtained by The Gleaner, there have been 373 reported cases of robbery in the first seven months of this year, but only 10 per cent or 38 cases have been cleared up.
In addition, it also revealed that there were 350 reported cases of break-ins for the period, with just 14 per cent or 50 cases being cleared up.
Larceny has the highest clear-up rate of all acquisitory crimes, with 24 per cent, or 19 of the 79 reported cases resolved.