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The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting a 9.56 per cent decline in major crimes between January and September this year, relative to the corresponding period last year.

Speaking at the Institute’s quarterly media briefing at its New Kingston offices on Tuesday (Nov. 20), Programme Director for the PIOJ’s Plan Development Unit, Richard Lumsden, disclosed that some 276 major crimes per 100,000 of the country’s population were committed between January and September this year, as against 305 per 100,000 in 2011.

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He, however, pointed to a slight increase in the number of recorded murders committed during the period under review, which he informed stood at 31 per 100,000, a 1.1 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2011.

He said that “these figures, for the current year, continue the overall downward trend in crime rates that began in June of 2010”.

The crime data formed the core key indicators of the security status component of the country’s long-term National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica. The Plan is seeking to position Jamaica to attain developed country status by 2030, and the “place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business”.

Reporting on the labour force quality component, Mr. Lumsden said the Labour Force Survey for July 2012, showed improvements in the number of persons having qualifications.

He informed that, based on the Survey’s findings, 24.5 per cent of the total labour force, which stood at 1,256,000 persons as at July this year, had vocational or professional certification. 

“This represents an increase of 0.6 percentage point, compared to 23.9 per cent with vocational or professional certification in the July 2011 survey,” Mr. Lumsden stated.