Livern Barret, Gleaner Writer
Police statistics have revealed that all but five of the 19 police divisions across the island have reported an increase in murders this year.
According to statistics compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), eight of these divisions recorded double-digit increases.
It is reported that there have been 1,130 reported murders between January 1 and the first week of this month, which is a 10 per cent spike when compared with the corresponding period last year.
A breakdown of the latest JCF statistics shows that the St Mary police division reported an 89 per cent jump in murders across the parish, the largest increase for any division.
The Trelawny and Kingston Western police divisions each reported a 60 per cent increase, while there was a 52 per cent in the Kingston Central division.
President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Christopher Zacca, says the trend is alarming and could shake investor confidence if it continues.
With the continued attempts by the Portia Simpson Miller-led administration to woo overseas investors, the president of the Jamaica Manufacturersí Association, Brian Pengelley, believes the countryís crime situation could make it a tough sell.
However, Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds yesterday refuted suggestions that the countryís crime situation is out of control.
He notes that overall, major crimes are down 16 per cent this year and blames the increased murders on the splintering of some of the countryís deadliest criminal gangs.
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