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Murder total soars to 461

Published:Wednesday | April 14, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator

While the police have been kept busy implementing strategies to address the escalating crime rate, statistics have revealed that the country's murder total has jumped to 461 since January.

Among the latest victims is 34-year-old Courtney Coward of Eleven Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew.

A report from the Constabulary Communication Network said Coward was killed at premises on Cassia Park Road, Kingston 10, on Sunday about 10:15 a.m.

According to reports, he was at the premises when a blue motor car drove up. He went to the gate and gunmen alighted from the vehicle and opened fire, killing him on the spot.

The Gleaner learnt yesterday that up to Sunday the actual murder figure stood at 455, which is an increase of more than 60, when compared with the corresponding period last year.

Crime statistics obtained by The Gleaner have further revealed that up to Sunday at least 20 persons were killed in gang-related incidents. Within the same period last year, 127 were murdered.

Of the 455 murders reported up to Sunday, the police said the motives behind 308 of the killings were undetermined. The statistics also showed that 350 were killed by the gun. For the corresponding period last year, 286 were slain by the gun.

There has also been an increase in the number of people killed by the police. Up to Sunday, the crime statistics showed that 73 people were killed by the lawmen, an increase of 21 when compared with the corresponding figure for 2009.