JLP says it is most concerned about dramatic increase in murdersThursday, March 19, 2015
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith, has again raised the issue of the number of murders occurring in the first quarter of 2015.
In a release on Wednesday, Smith noted that there were 226 murders recorded by the police up to Saturday, March 14, but within three days since then – Sunday to Tuesday – the figure had risen by eleven.
He said that up to Friday of last week there were 222 murders reported to the police, which means that there has been 15 murders over the past four days, and the rate of an average of three murders per day has continued since the start of the year.
“Eleven murders in three days and 15 murders in four days is something that the public, in general, and the JLP must be unduly alarmed about,” Smith said.
He said that the 237 murders to date are 35 more than the 202 recorded during the same period in 2014.
The Opposition spokesman also expressed sympathy for the family and friends of three men who were killed by gunmen in the New Haven community of West St. Andrew before midnight on Tuesday.
Smith said he is worried about the brazenness of the perpetrators, which suggests that they are not concerned about the time of day when they commit these acts, or who sees them in the act or even about the provisions of the Anti-Gang Act.
He said that the country must be even more concerned that this has occurred one year after the government has instituted the Anti-Gang Act, which was supposed to bring drastically reduce murders, especially those which are listed as gang related.
“The government should bear in mind that that the measures proposed in this Act, which reflect the views and ideas of many law enforcement professionals, business people, academics and other concerned Jamaicans, are aimed at contributing significantly to reducing crime, especially murders. If this is not happening, one year after the Bill was passed in Parliament, the Minister needs to update the nation on what is wrong,” Smith suggested. BALFORD HENRY