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    • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, is commending the police force for achieving a significant reduction in all categories of crimes in 2012, including murders.
    • He said 1,087 murders were recorded last year, and while the numbers are still “unacceptably high,” they were the lowest in nine years.
    • In an open letter to Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington on Tuesday (January 1), Minister Bunting lauded the work of the officers and rank and file members, stating that the nation is encouraged by the progress made. He said the momentum should carry into 2013.

    Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, is commending the police force for achieving a significant reduction in all categories of crimes in 2012, including murders.

    He said 1,087 murders were recorded last year, and while the numbers are still “unacceptably high,” they were the lowest in nine years.

    In an open letter to Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington on Tuesday (January 1), Minister Bunting lauded the work of the officers and rank and file members, stating that the nation is encouraged by the progress made. He said the momentum should carry into 2013.

    Citing information from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Statistics and Data Management Unit, he informed that there were seven per cent reductions in violent crimes, sexual offences and acquisitory crimes. Fatal police shootings also declined by seven per cent.

    The seven police divisions also recorded significant reductions in murders, with St. Catherine North reporting a 34 per cent decline; St. Catherine South, 21 per cent; Trelawny, 26 per cent; St. Mary, 17 per cent; Portland, 10 per cent; St. Elizabeth, 16 per cent; and St. Thomas, 38 per cent.

    There was also a sharp increase in the recovery of firearms and ammunition of 18.5 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, over 2011.

    Statistics also revealed that cases of sexual assault against minors fell 16 per cent in 2012 when compared to 2011. There was also a downward monthly trend during 2012, from 108 reported offences in January, to 18 in December.

    The Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division (TCND) also reported an increase in ganja seizure and eradication, with the haul of cured marijuana up by 41 per cent from 36.7 thousand kilograms in 2011, to 51.9 thousand kilograms in 2012.

    Minister Bunting also acknowledged the support given by Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson; Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ann Marie Barnes and the team at the Ministry, and “all the citizens of courage and goodwill in communities across Jamaica.”