Murders Trending Downwards


Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas, has said that the numbers for the month of April indicate that murders were trending downwards, from an increase since the start of the year.
“The year 2007 did not start very well for us but we have seen downward movements in homicides,” the Commissioner stated as he addressed the final of three community meetings in the United Kingdom on the weekend, which were sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS).
Citing the 20 per cent reduction in homicides in 2006, Commissioner Thomas said that in any police force in the world, this would have been cause for celebration, but “we did not have those celebrations; we felt that it was necessary to continue the process of further reducing the homicides that we have”.
He told the audience that the force remained committed to fighting crime to ensure that when people are considering visiting or moving to Jamaica, crime would not be a deterrent.
Outlining some of the crime fighting strategies in place, Commissioner Thomas mentioned the targeting of known criminals; and an increase in the use of intelligence, which included the setting up of divisional intelligence units in all 19 police divisions last year.
He noted that Operation Kingfish had so far disrupted the activities of seven of the 12 major crime gangs in Jamaica including the notorious Klansman gang, while some 13 metric tons of cocaine and 38,000 pounds of ganja have been seized and five illegal airstrips disabled.
The Police Commissioner also pointed to the increased use of technology, through the acquisition of an Automated Palm Fingerprinting Information System and the Integrated Ballistics System, as well as the use of digital photography in crime scene documentation.
In addition to these strategies, the police has also placed emphasis on community policing to engage communities to build trust and help to keep young people away from crime.
Meanwhile, he informed that the JCF is also tackling corruption within its ranks and last year, the Internal Affairs/Anti-Corruption Division investigated 168 reports of corruption, which resulted in 60 persons including 58 police personnel being arrested for various corruption breaches.
Commissioner Thomas was accompanied on his trip by Assistant Commissioner Glenmore Hinds, who is in charge of the Counter Narcotics and Major Crimes Taskforce (Operation Kingfish).

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