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Police commissioner optimistic decline in crime will hold

Published:Tuesday | June 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson is cautiously optimistic that the decline in serious and violent crimes will take hold, pointing to statistics indicating that the current crime-fighting methods are working at a slow but steady pace.

"It's trending in the right direction, but we remain conscious of the fact that we do not control all the factors. We are putting some things in place. So, let's see if they are working and, if so, we hope that this slowing down of serious crimes continues its trajectory," Anderson said.

"It takes some time to see a trend, but there are several other things that we will be rolling out to make the Jamaican people feel safer generally," he stated.

All categories of serious and violent crimes have dipped as at Sunday, June 3, when compared to the same period in 2017, according to statistics released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

The data show an overall 9.6 per cent reduction in serious and violent crimes, while there has been a five per cent reduction in accusatory crimes over the period under review.

The two police divisions currently under a state of public emergency - St James and St Catherine North - continue showing a strong in murders.

St James continues to record large reductions in murder, with 78 fewer (66.1 per cent) reported over the period, while shootings went down by 45, a reduction of 49.5 per cent over the corresponding period last year.

Significantly, and for the first time this year, the St Catherine North division has no increase in murders and is seeing six fewer cases of shootings when compared to the same period last year. The division has reported 59 cases of murder since the start of the year as against the same figure for the comparative period.

Murders are down by 16, or 2.6 per cent fewer than the corresponding period in 2017; 14 per cent fewer shootings occurred; 57 cases of rape, 24.8 per cent fewer, were reported; while aggravated assault was down by 32.8 per cent.