National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says despite a slight increase in the number of murders since the start of the year, relative to the corresponding period in 2011, there is no need for panic.
He said the numbers are still lower than figures recorded during the second half of 2011. “(If) you look at what has happened…what you will actually see is that, since about the middle of last year, the murder rate has been, more or less, where it is now. In fact, if you compare the first quarter of this year with the last quarter of 2011, murders are actually down,” he stated.
Minister Bunting was addressing the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) Chairman’s Club Forum breakfast on March 20 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.
He noted that two of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Divisions,
St. Catherine North and St. James, both account for approximately one-third of the murders committed in Jamaica. He was quick to point out, however, that despite this, there were “encouraging signs” of the rate declining.
“It is particularly encouraging (that), so far, for March, it (number of murders) is down to 2.5 per day, as opposed to three per day (in previous years) and this is (the result of) very intense operations in St. Catherine North (in particular), where we have hundreds of soldiers and mobile reserves deployed,” Mr. Bunting said.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter