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Jamaica records highest ever murder rate in 2009

JamaicaObserver.com

Friday, January 08, 2010    

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A sad roll call of 1,680 persons were murdered last year, the highest ever for Jamaica, exceeding the previous record of 1674 in 2005.

Releasing crime statistics for 2009 today, the Jamaica Constabulary Force said that 52 per cent of murders were attributed to gang warfare and reprisals. A total of 1292 persons were killed by the gun.

There were, however, decreases in Rape and Carnal Abuse cases, by 21 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. Eleven police officers were killed by criminals in 2009.

On a parish-by-parish basis, the Portland Police Division recorded the largest percentage increase in murders during 2009, moving from 11 in 2008 to 20 in 2009. The St Mary Police recorded the largest percentage decrease in murders in 2009, moving from 33 in 2008 to 14 in 2009.

The murder reduction strategy recently enunciated by Acting Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington places emphasis on the targeting of gangs and gang members as the major element in reducing murders across the island.

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