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Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan, has said that there has been a 10 per cent decline in murders for the first 18 days of 2009, compared to the corresponding period last year.
“This trend follows the decline in the murder figures for November and December 2008,” he told the Senate yesterday (Jan. 23), noting that carnal abuse cases have also declined by 27 per cent for the same period.
Senator MacMillan, in his State of the Nation address, informed that for 2008, there was a two per cent increase in murders over 2007. However, figures showed declines in seven of the 19 police divisions over the 2007 tally. Kingston Western had the greatest decline of 58 per cent, with 56 murders in 2008 as against 133 in 2007.
There was also an 18 per cent decline in fatal police shootings, from 272 in 2007 to 224 in 2008, while the number of carnal abuse cases in 2008, was nine per cent less than in 2007.
According to the National Security Minister, there were 13 per cent more arrests in 2008 than 2007, which he credited to the improved deployment of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force, in addition to the enhanced capacity of the security forces.
He told the Senate that significant effort has been made in Kingston and St. Andrew to develop a policing model with the objective of reducing the number of murders and shootings in the hotspots of crime.
Also, Senator MacMillan said, the JCF has focused its efforts on working with stakeholders in the development of effective social intervention strategies to combat the underlying causes of serious crimes.
“The JCF recognises that unless there is a change in the policing style to one of community policing, these results cannot be sustained,” he stated.