JIS News

The murder rate in Kingston and St. Andrew fell by 12 per cent in 2008, compared with an increase of two per cent for the country as a whole.
This announcement was made by Commissioner of Police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, at a press conference today (Jan 13) at the Police Officer’s Club in Kingston.
“The provisional crime statistics for 2008 indicate an increase of 2 per cent in the number of murders and a clear-up rate of 32 per cent, down from 34 per cent in 2007. However, when the parishes of Kinston and St. Andrew are examined in isolation, it has a clear-up rate of 34 per cent, up by 5 per cent,” he revealed.
According to Commissioner Lewin, the strategies used in Kingston and St. Andrew, which resulted in the reduction of the murder rate, will be employed in parishes that showed the highest crime rate last year.
“The key objectives for 2009 must be to continue to focus investigations, analyse hotspots and tackle crime vigorously. The fact that the policing model in Kingston and St. Andrew has worked well, makes it all the more reason to ensure that it is replicated across Jamaica, especially in the parishes of St. James, St. Catherine and Clarendon,” he revealed.
The Commissioner added that among the major undertakings for this year, the JCF will focus specifically on reducing the murder rate and establishing major investigation taskforces.
“The priority for 2009 must be to continue to reduce murder and improve the clear-up rate for serious crimes across Jamaica, as well as establishing well-resourced major investigation taskforces to support divisions investigating serious crimes, implementing new investigative standards/procedures, and continuing to improve the forensic capability of the JCF,” he asserted.
He stated that while he is disappointed with the 2 per cent increase in the number of murders, significant effort has been made particularly in the corporate area, to reduce crime in “hotspots”.
“Significant effort has been made in Kingston and St. Andrew to develop a policing model with the objective of reducing the number of murders and shootings in crime hotspots. A combination of effective tasking and coordinating through crime hotspot analysis and intelligence-led policing, together with the adoption of a taskforce approach to the investigation of murders and shootings, has played a significant part in reducing instances of murder and improving the standards of investigation,” Commissioner Lewin informed.
Based on statistics provided by the Jamaica Constabulary Force Crime Statistics Review, major crimes reported island-wide for the period January 1 – December 31, 2007 was 1,583, while for January 1, 2008- December 31, 2008, the figure was 1, 611. St. Catherine, 295; St. James, 214; Clarendon, 163; and St. Mary, 163; are the parishes with the highest murder rates for 2008.