Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Cleared up: Anamorphic murder statistics

Published:Monday | November 4, 2019 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Despite the imposition of the many states of emergency and zones of special operation, there is virtually no difference in the ­murder rate as at October 31, 2019, and the comparable period for 2018.

Statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s periodic serious and violent crime review show that the number of murders for the corresponding period this year is one less than the 1,072 recorded in 2018. And of that number, 832 or 78 per cent go unresolved, which means that only a mere 229 or 22 per cent of the murders are cleared up.

A case is considered cleared up when a suspect is arrested and charged. But unless a third component, ‘FOUND GUILTY’, is added to arrested and charged, then cleared up means nothing in relation to a true reflection of the success rate of the number of murders being solved.

What we really want is ultimate finality to the cases, not some anamorphic statistics to create ambiguity and confusion.

Oftentimes suspects are arrested and charged, then eventually released.

So what happens, then, to the initial statistics which were ­predicated on cleared up?

This cleared up is a misnomer and can definitely mislead the undiscerning reader into ­believing that the efforts to harpoon the crime monster are bearing fruit.

This could very well be the intent.

This year, Portland has recorded nine murders so far, and one suspect has been arrested and charged with seven of those nine murders. So there is a cleared-up rate of 78 per cent. Looks ­impressive, but is this a genuine reflection of the real situation? What if that suspect ‘buss di case dem’?

Until a revised consideration of cleared up is when a suspect is arrested, charged, and FOUND GUILTY, then the continued use of ‘cleared up’ is nothing but a public relations ploy.

A ruse being championed to make those who are responsible for taming the crime monster appear competent.

NURVILLE MCLEOD