Nearly 100 murders recorded this month
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
A SPATE of multiple killings across several parishes over the past two weeks has contributed to almost 100 murders being reported so far this month, making it the highest number of murders recorded in October since 2010.
Statistics compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) show that up to Sunday, 92 persons were killed in October, 33 more than the 59 recorded last month.
According to the JCF's latest Periodic Serious and Violent Crimes Review, they are among the 825 murders recorded islandwide since the start of the year, for an average daily rate of more than two killings.
Serious crimes down
Despite this, the JCF data show that murders, with a 16 per cent decline, and all other categories of serious crimes continue to trend downwards. The 825 murders recorded this year are 155 fewer than for the corresponding period last year.
The data also show that the number of reported shootings fell 13 per cent; rapes dropped 23 per cent; larcenies dipped 19 per cent; robberies were down 18 per cent; aggravated assaults fell 17 per cent; and break-ins were down four per cent.
Last week, the east Kingston community of Rockfort became the scene of the latest multiple killings this month when gunmen surprised a group of residents at a bar along St Johns Road and sprayed them with bullets. Three men were killed and five others injured.
Three men in custody
Yesterday, Deputy Superin-tendent Hornet Williams, who is attached to the East Kingston Police Division, said three men, described as persons of interest, remain in custody in connection with the killings.
That incident followed a quadruple killing and a triple slaying in separate communities in St Catherine and another triple murder in Canterbury, St James.
A breakdown of the JCF statistics shows that all police divisions, except for East Kingston, St Catherine North, Hanover and St Ann, reported a decrease in murders.
The East Kingston police recorded a 12 per cent increase; St Ann saw a 15 per cent rise; there was an 11 per cent jump in murders in Hanover; and St Catherine North reported a six per cent increase.
The 122 murders recorded by the St James police were the highest by any division, followed by the 111 recorded in the St Catherine North Division, where some of the country's deadliest criminal gangs are based.
Portland recorded the fewest murders with six.