KINGSTON — Between January and June this year, major crimes in Jamaica (murder, shooting, rape, carnal abuse, robbery, break-ins and larceny) declined by 12.6 percent, compared to the similar period in 2010.
One hundred and eighty nine (189) major crimes per 100,000 Jamaicans were committed over the period, down from 216 per 100,000 over the corresponding period in 2010.
The murder rate for the period was 19 per 100,000 population, down by 39.5 per cent from the 31 per 100,000 population over the similar period in 2010, continuing the downward trend in crime rates that began in June of last year.
These latest crime statistics were presented by Programme Manager, PIOJ Plan Development Unit, Richard Lumsden, at the recent Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) media briefing, which reviewed Jamaica's economic performance for the period April to June 2011, within the context of Vision 2030 Jamaica, and presented a summary of Vision 2030’s Social, Governance and Environment Indicators.
Under the Vision 2030 Jamaica-National Development Plan framework, key indicators were examined under four main reporting areas: Health Status, Education Status, Security Status, and Environmental Stewardship Status.
With respect to health status, the report focused on immunization coverage for children. Mr. Lumsden stated that the immunization coverage for children 0-11 months for BCG, OPV and DPT/DT (covering tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, respectively) increased to an average of 94.7 per cent in 2010, up 3.8 percentage points from an average of 90.9 per cent in 2009.
“By contrast, the immunization coverage for children 12-23 months for MMR (covering measles, mumps and rubella) fell to 87.1 per cent in 2010, down 1.0 percentage point from 88.1 per cent in 2009,” he explained.
Mr. Lumsden stated that under Education Status, “a key and very current indicator”, the results of the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) was examined.
The number of students from Jamaica passing 5 subjects or more in the CSEC examinations, including passes in English Language and/or Mathematics, as a percentage of the total number of students taking the exams fell slightly to 36.3 per cent for the 2010/2011 school year, a decline of 0.4 percentage point over the rate of 36.7 per cent for the 2009/2010 school year, he outlined.
The country’s “environmental stewardship status”, focused on the health of the island’s coral reefs. According to the PIOJ executive, the reefs constitute an important natural resource for the nation’s biodiversity and resilience to natural hazards.
“The average percentage of surface area of the seabed covered by live hard corals, at 29 coastal marine sites around the island measured in 2010 was 13.3 per cent, a fall of 0.4 percentage point from 2008, when the average percentage of surface area covered by live hard corals measured at 36 sites was 13.7 per cent,” he reported.
The special report marked one year since the introduction of the National Dashboard of Indicators in August 2010. In September, the PIOJ will present a comprehensive Progress Report on the first two years of implementation of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan.
This Progress Report will include reporting on over 60 national indicators that track progress towards achieving each of the goals and outcomes of Vision 2030 Jamaica.
A public forum will be held on September 29, in collaboration with the Jamaica Library Service, at Tom Redcam Drive, Kingston, to discuss the Progress Report, he indicated.
By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter