JIS News

National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips has reported a “significant decline” in most major crime categories this year when compared to the corresponding period in 2005.
Minister Phillips, who was delivering the opening presentation in the 2006/2007 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on May 30, said murders have declined by 21 per cent in comparison to the previous year.
He noted that “while our continued high crime rates makes it difficult for us to celebrate this reduction, the reality is that so far this year, we have seen 138 fewer Jamaicans murdered than we witnessed during the same period last year”.
Highlighting the reductions in other major crimes, the National Security Minister disclosed that incidents of shootings have been reduced by 28 per cent while larceny has also trended downwards by 26 per cent.
Break-ins, he noted, has declined by 24 per cent when compared to last year, while incidents of rape also saw a decline of some 26 per cent.
“In the midst of this,” Dr. Phillips told members of the Lower House, “it is indeed very disturbing to note that the only crime category with a significant increase has been carnal abuse, which has gone up by over 40 per cent.”
“This savage destruction of innocent lives is reflective of the abyss, which threatens to engulf us and destroy all the promise of future generations if we do not take steps to halt this moral decay and assist the rebirth of family life in our country,” the Minister stressed.
On the matter of criminal networks, he said the National Security Ministry had achieved measurable success in dismantling a number of gangs, among them the Andem Gang, the two main criminal groups operating in Spanish Town, as well as others in the corporate area, St. James and Clarendon.
“We can also take some comfort from the fact that Jamaica is the only country in the world that has seen an absolute and relative decline in the illegal narcotics passing across our borders. Both our international partners and ourselves estimate that there has been an 80 per cent reduction in the amount of cocaine trafficked through Jamaica,” Dr. Phillips said.
Through the anti-drug trafficking process, he noted, a number of persons deeply involved in the trade have been arrested, while others were awaiting extradition.
“These successes have come as a result of sustained counter-narcotic efforts, coordinated with our regional and international partners, and sustained increased in our investments in national security,” the Minister noted, adding that “the challenge is to sustain this investment and never again as a country, should we lose sight of the fact that national security is the first responsibility of any government.”

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