JIS News

A government study on deportation, and its effect on crime, has identified a direct statistical correlation between increases in deportation and a rise in the murder rates with particularly strong correlations in connection with deportation for sexual offences, drug offences, and gun-related offences.
The study, which was conducted by the Ministry of National Security and the Planning Institute of Jamaica is being reviewed by the Ministry and will shortly be submitted to Cabinet for its consideration.
National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips, providing details of the report in the House of Representatives yesterday (Sept. 12) said the survey detailed that of self-reported criminal-offending persons among the deportee community, 53 per cent revealed involvement in criminal activities since their deportation, which includes crimes that have not been reported to, or detected by the police.
“Of those reporting their involvement in crime in Jamaica, 78 per cent reported that they had committed more than one crime; 35 per cent were involved in drug-related offences, 37 per cent had either threatened to seriously injure someone or had attacked someone with a weapon, and an additional 10 per cent admitted to an illegal use or possession of a firearm,” Minister Phillips said.
Continuing, he pointed out that the study found that deported criminal offenders are convicted of crimes in Jamaica at approximately the same rate as local criminal offenders, with the rate of conviction for deported persons was one in 18 compared to one in 17 for the general population.
This, he emphasised, meant that “while deported persons are not necessarily over represented in criminal convictions, they are as likely to contribute to crimes as the rest of population, which means that their increased numbers in the general population will have a direct impact increasing crime rates.”
Citing other important findings, Dr. Phillips said it was revealed that women were more likely to have self-reported involvement in crime since their deportation.
He told the House that, “65 per cent of women compared to 49 per cent of men reported criminal involvement in Jamaica with almost twice as many women (42 per cent) involved in drug-related activity in Jamaica than men.”
Similarly, persons who are reported with non-criminal charges were more likely to be over represented in criminal convictions than persons with criminal charges in the country from which they have been deported, the study cited.
As to the way forward in dealing with the issue of deportation, the National Security Minister said the findings revealed that there was “an urgent need to develop effective strategies that will enable our law enforcement and social service agencies to adequately respond to the continued influx of deported criminal offenders”.
In addition, he said, the government intended to engage in dialogue with the deporting countries.
Communication with the foreign nations, he noted, was critical “so that they can more effectively understand that the deportation of persons from what you might call low crime environments to high crime environments does not .rid them of the problem, and that in effect what they are doing is worsening a situation for us, which will inevitably have an impact on them overtime, and so we intend to engage in these negotiations.”