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Opposition calls for top-level meeting on crime

By Balford Henry

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | 2:42 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Opposition spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith, Tuesday (December 17) called on the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to convene a meeting of the National Security Council, and to personally assure the nation of steps being taken to address the ten percent rise in murder in recent months.

 

Speaking at a press conference called by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) at its Belmont Road, headquarters, Smith told the press that the opposition party was extremely concerned about the situation.

 

“For the last 14 days, 58 individuals have been murdered: week one, 28, week 2, 30, and during that period, 15 persons have been murdered in St James, alone,” Smith said.

 

He said that the 1160 murders reported so far this year is a 10 per cent increase over the figure for the same period (up to the end of November, 2012) last year. He also pointed out that of the 19 police divisions, there has been an increase in murder in nine, including: Kingston Western, Kingston Central, Trelawny, Westmoreland, Clarendon, St Thomas and even in usually quiet St Mary, which registered a 94 per cent increase in murder since the start of the year.  

 

Smith attributed the rise in murders to lack of attention from Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, whom he claimed “seems to have taken his hand off the control” and instead sought divine intervention.

 

However, he said that the country continues to be in a state of panic, as crime and violence increases, and the police are forced to respond without being properly equipped and without proper infrastructure.

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