Murders soar

40 more recorded so far in 2013, compared to same period last year

BY OBSERVER CRIME REPORTER

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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FORTY more murders have been recorded up to Sunday, September 22 when compared to the same period last year, according to official figures issued by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) yesterday.


The statistics also indicate that 860 people have been murdered so far, compared to 820 over the similar period 2012.


The months of July and August proved to be particularly gruesome. In July, there were 119 murders, compared to 88 in 2012 for the same month, and while August feared a bit better with a total of 121 compared to 106 in 2012, over the course of last week 34 murders were committed, an average just short of five per day.


The problematic divisions which have shown more than normal increases in the numbers of murders are Trelawny, St Mary, Clarendon, Kingston Western and Kingston Central. Trelawny now stands at 20, with eight last year; St Mary is struggling with 26 murders, having had 14 in 2012; Clarendon is at 90 murders compared to 55 last year; Kingston Western, which has seen a recent upsurge in gun crimes, including murders, has year-to-date recorded 55 murders which is 17 more than last year's 38. Kingston Central has so far recorded 36 murders, compared to 21 in 2012.


There was a noticeable decline in the murder figures in the usually crime-plagued and problematic parish of St James. Although the St James division has gone over the 100 mark, it is still 17 fewer murders year-to-date with 1,007 in 2013 compared to 1,024 in 2012.


The St Andrew North Division — which has Red Hills Road, Stony Hill, Mannings Hills Road, Cassava Piece, Ackee Walk, and Grants Pen among its troublesome areas — is showing a major decrease of 21 murders thus far: 28 in 2013 compared to 49 last year.


Commenting on the approximately five per cent increase in murders, Jamaica Labour Party spokesman on national security Delroy Chuck said he was very, very concerned about the figures and expressed dismay that the Government is not doing anything to stem what he described as the "monster" of crime.


"This is serious now. An increase of 40 murders, with three-and-a-half months to go in the year is nothing to scoff at. To say I am concerned is an understatement," Chuck said. "But what is even more puzzling is the lack of attention given to this tangible increase by the minister of national security and the prime minister.


"It is as if it is anything goes, and what they should be doing is channelling more resources to support the police and dealing with crime in a public and open way. Further, after the presentation two weeks ago in Parliament by Minister Bunting, there is no clear indication that anything is being done to assist the security forces," Chuck said.



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