Crime figures continue to climb despite SOEs

JUST over four murders each day in the last week, have pushed the country’s murder tally to 1,026 since the start of this year.

Official figures from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) show that the number of murders committed in Jamaica up to October 12 is now a notch above the 997 recorded for the same period last year, despite states of public emergency (SOE) in the St Andrew South Police Division, Clarendon, sections of St Catherine and the western parishes of St James, Westmoreland and Hanover.

Despite the state of emergency in the St Andrew South Police Division, which covers more than 20 inner-city communities, including Payne Lane, Riverton City, Seaview Gardens, and sections of lower Maxfield Avenue, it continues to lead the island in terms of murders with 127 recorded so far this year.

This reflects an almost eight per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.

But it is the Kingston Central Police Division, in which a bloody gang feud is playing out, where the police have so far recorded the largest increase in murders over last year (136 per cent), despite only 26 murders so far this year.

St James, with 115 murders this year — up 44 per cent over last year — remains one of the country’s crime hot spots, while 102 murders in the St Catherine South Police Division makes it a worry for the Police High Command, as that is an increase of 42 per cent over last year.

With 22 murders so far, St Elizabeth remains relatively peaceful. However, there are concerns that gangsters fleeing neighbouring parishes now under states of emergency could head to that usually peaceful parish, amid a 37 per cent increase in killings over last year.