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JIS News

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has said that there has been a 10 per cent drop in murders for the period January 1 to July 3, 2009, over the corresponding period last year.
“We have had, up to now, 82 murders less than last year,” he stated as he addressed the Jamaica Employers’ Federation’s Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) breakfast held this morning (July 7) at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.
Providing other crime statistics for the period, he said that carnal abuse was down by 23 per cent, rape dropped 24 per cent, while there was a three per cent increase in shootings.
A total of 5,733 major incidents of crime were reported to the police during the period, which represents an increase of 964 or 20 per cent over the corresponding period last year. “It is the property crimes, which continue to show dramatic and very frightening increases. Robberies are up by 18 per cent, break-ins are up by 79 per cent, and larceny is up by 127 per cent,” Senator Nelson said.
He blamed the increase in property crimes on the networking of criminal organisations in a number of communities. “We have reason to believe that the spread of gangs across the island is largely responsible for more than 80 per cent of the murders committed. And when we are talking about gangs, we are not talking about loose gatherings of idle people on street corners. We are talking about organised criminal entities with links to international organisations,” the Minister stated. Currently, there are 120 gangs operating across the country.
In terms of strategies to fight crime, Senator Nelson said focus will be placed on the implementation of a vehicle tracking system for all police cars; ensuring a competent and resourceful police force, with adequate training facilities provided; and the implementation of the National Identification System.
He also noted that the wider community has a role to play in fighting the scourge of crime in Jamaica.
“Crime is a major concern, but as a nation, we must understand and accept that the people .the communities have an important role to play in supporting crime fighting. Too many of our citizens play active roles in silence, while criminals get powered up in freedom and this needs urgent attention,” Senator Nelson stated.
“Fear is no excuse. With the gun culture overwhelming our communities, the need for social intervention is urgent and impatient for action,” he added.
He also urged the members of the private sector to get more involved in the fight against crime. “It is time that we move decisively to pull together a team of private sector personnel to find the resources to kick-start the range of social intervention initiatives to keep our vulnerable youths out of trouble, as well as strengthening existing programmes,” Senator Nelson stated.