Police-related fatalities cut by half, INDECOM reports
Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
The number of police-related killings has seen a 53.18 per cent decline over the past 10 months in comparison to the first 10 months of 2013 and the cops are attributing this to enforcement of strategic measures and fewer confrontations with criminals.
The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has released data showing 103 fatal shootings this year as at the end of October 2014, which is 117 less than the 220 fatalities recorded for the same period last year.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds, the man at the helm of the operations portfolio in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), said despite the decrease, the JCF has always regretted the loss of life in any incident involving the police.
"Notably, we have been seeing an increased trend of criminals using less confrontational measures in dealing with the police and have chosen the option of surrendering in light of several public appeals," he told The Gleaner.
Hinds said the reduction in fatalities could also be attributed to the enforcement of several strategic measures by the police such as improved risk management, a greater observance of human rights, increased training and sensitisation through briefings, and repeated public appeal for criminals to surrender peacefully.
"The police will continue to enforce the law in a professional manner. We will continue to enforce these strategies which have borne good fruits of success. While we are not satisfied with the numbers, we are encouraged that the strategies are working, and with further enforcement, they will continue to work. Members of the public are being urged to report any untoward activities by members of the JCF so the relevant investigations can be conducted," he continued.
The months that reflect the highest numbers of fatalities for 2014 were January, with 22, and February and May, with 14 each.
Last year, the months with the highest number of recorded incidents were January, with 30; June, with 35; October, with 40; and February, with 27.
Of the 10 months reviewed this year, five recorded single-digit figures, while last year, only one month recorded a single-digit number of fatalities.
Of note is the sharp decline in fatalities recorded for the month of October. Last year, 40 fatalities were recorded, while in 2014, five were recorded, representing an 87.5 per cent decline.