JIS News

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Kern Spencer has said the 23 per cent decline in homicide rates in January of this year when compared to the same period last year signified that inroads are being made in the fight to reduce crime and violence.
Senator Spencer who was making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate at Gordon House on Friday (March 3) told colleagues that there was also a corresponding fall in criminal activities in the old capital of Spanish Town over the same period. According to Senator Spencer the downward trends experienced at the beginning of the year were the direct result of the National Anti-Crime Initiative and Operation Kingfish in particular.
Senator Spencer in lauding the success of the Operation said its “significant success in regard to the disruption of the illicit narcotics trade” was to be noted. He added that one report had credited the 80 per cent cut in the amount of illegal drugs smuggled into the Caribbean from Colombia to the joint operation.
In the meantime he said the ground covered under initiatives such as the Peace Management Initiative, the Social Intervention Programme, and the Community Security Initiative among others, has also helped to strengthen the rule of law on the community front.
Parliamentary Secretary said the decline in the number of young persons between the ages of 12-30 being arrested for major crimes was encouraging, with the number of young persons arrested for major crimes falling from 2,657 in 2004 to 2,307 in 2005.
Furthermore Senator Spencer said a review of the arrest statistics from the year 2000-2005 for crimes such as shooting, robbery, breaking and entering, rape and carnal abuse by persons in the 12-30 age group also show a downward trend.
In addition he said the total number of persons between the ages of 12-30 who were arrested for shooting also declined from 534 in 2004 to 509 in 2005.
Similarly the number of arrests for young persons for robbery in 2005 was 509 compared to 607 in 2004.
“The downward trend in arrests for young persons for major crimes is a ray of hope,” Senator Spencer said, adding that the occurrence could be attributed to the work of the police community relations and welfare department through the police youth programme.
In the meantime he said the downward trends would ultimately reduce the pressure on the department of correctional services as well as the youth cohort in penal facilities.

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