Homicides climb in the Corporate Area
WITH THE number of murders recorded nationally up by six per cent near the midway point in the year, the latest police statistics have shown that there was an increase in homicides across all Corporate Area divisions.
According to the Jamaica Constabulary Force's major crime-review statistics, there were 536 murders between January 1 and June 23 this year, 32 more than was reported during the corresponding period last year.
The statistics, however, show that, with the exception of rape, there were declines in all other categories of major crimes during the period, when compared to the corresponding time last year.
Shootings dropped by nine per cent, robberies were down by 26 per cent, and break-ins were down by 15 per cent. There were 412 reported cases of rape, one more than was reported over the same period in 2011.
Children accounted for 27 of those homicides, 22 males and five females, an increase of seven when compared to the same period last year.
The statistics, a copy of which was obtained by The Gleaner, show that the parish of Hanover reported the single largest jump, with 22 murders during the period, a 267 per cent increase when compared to the six that were reported over the corresponding period last year.
The St Mary police reported the biggest decline in murders, a 26 per cent drop when compared to the same period last year.
Portland remained the safest parish with just two homicides.
The St James police, who are still wrestling with the deadly lottery scam, reported 79 homicides over the near six-month period, the highest of the 19 police divisions across the island.
Kingston numbers surprising
But with the significant gains the police have made in several inner-city communities, it was the increases across the Corporate Area divisions that stood out.
The Kingston Central police reported a 117 per cent increase; the St Andrew North police reported a 76 per cent jump; the Kingston Eastern police reported a 42 per cent increase, while the St Andrew Central police reported a 33 per cent increase.
The two police divisions in St Catherine as well as the Trelawny, St Mary and St Elizabeth divisions, all reported a decline in murders.
National Security Minister Peter Bunting, speaking after two double killings in August Town, St Andrew, on the weekend, urged Jamaicans not to give up on the fight against crime.
Bunting assured the country that the security forces will "continue their relentless efforts to fight crime."
"We have to redouble our efforts going forward, continue what we are doing, and be confident that, over time, it will work," Bunting said.