60 'violent gunmen' arrested so far this year, major crimes down 13% - police
The police say 60 "violent gunmen" have been arrested since the start of the year, a development being linked to the sustained reduction in major crimes for 2023.
Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson gave the update at the Jamaica Constabulary Force's quarterly press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
The briefing covered the last three months but included crime figures for January 1 - September 30, 2023.
“The period saw some significant breakthroughs by investigators with two serial killers arrested and charged,” Anderson said of ongoing efforts to rid the country of guns and gangs.
The two are 25-year-old Ronaldo Rickets and 45-year-old Richard Belnavis.
Rickets was charged for the murder of five homeless persons. He has also been linked to other cases of rape, abduction and kidnapping.
Belnavis, who is from Buckfield in St Mary, has been charged with three counts of murder.
“Investigators in both cases are probing other related matters to ascertain whether or not these persons are associated with similar cases,” Anderson said
Up to September 30, major crimes were down 13 per cent when compared with the similar period for 2022.
Broken down, murders recorded a 12 per cent drop, shootings nine per cent, rape 18 per cent and robberies 17 per cent.
Meanwhile, the police are reporting that they have seen some 'shifts' in the types and motives for crimes in Jamaica.
He said as a result, the police have adjusted some of their operational initiatives in the third quarter of 2023 to align with their intelligence and crime analysis.
The top cop said police operations have impacted gang activities and hot spots and that there was a shift outside those concentrated areas where homicides occurred on the genesis of interpersonal issues.
- Andre Williams
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