JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Under the Government’s intensified and sustained crime fighting strategies, there has been an 18 per cent drop in murders between January 1 and September 20.
  • This translates to 708 murders, compared with 856 for the similar period of 2013, and the 1,074 recorded for 2010, which was 35 per cent higher than the current figure.
  • National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, said the country is making some headway, “but (we are) still at an absolutely high level.”

Under the Government’s intensified and sustained crime fighting strategies, there has been an 18 per cent drop in murders between January 1 and September 20.

This translates to 708 murders, compared with 856 for the similar period of 2013, and the 1,074 recorded for 2010, which was 35 per cent higher than the current figure.

Making the announcement, on September 25, at a Realtors Association of Jamaica Annual General Meeting, in New Kingston, National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, said the country is making some headway, “but (we are) still at an absolutely high level.”

Mr. Bunting said that if the trend remains at the current pace, although not desirable, there is a high possibility of the murder figure for the calendar year remaining under 1,000. This, he said, would be the first time in “many, many” years, and would represent a “psychological benchmark.”

He pointed out that there is also a downward trend in all serious and violent crimes, such as rapes, robberies, break-ins, assaults, and shootings, with the figure now at 2,478, down from 2,956. When compared with the 2010 data, there has been a 21 per cent decrease in this category of crimes.

The Minister outlined some of the major initiatives that have been undertaken to yield these results, such as beefing up police presence. This has been done through the addition of police posts, including portable posts; and the renovation of underutilized State facilities, for use by the police.

Mr. Bunting noted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) fleet has been enhanced, with some $1 billion spent on vehicles over the past two years; and that there has been a thrust for greater efficiency in the service the Force provides, as well as in the use of its resources.

The Minister also pointed to the recent merger of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF); as well as the merger of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption (MOCA) Task Force, and the JCF’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB).

Mr. Bunting emphasized the impact of legislative teeth in crime fighting, citing the passage of laws such as the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA); the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Bill (Anti-gang Bill); and the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act, commonly known as the Anti-Lottery Scam Act.

Since the law was passed last year, over 600 persons have been arrested and charged under the anti-lottery scam legislation; and 17 under the anti-gang law, which was approved by Parliament earlier this year.