AN almost 16 per cent increase in murders since the start of this year when compared to same period last year has prompted Prime Minister Andrew Holness to summon the island's security bosses to a meeting with the Cabinet on Monday.
Up to press time there was no official word from the Office of the Prime Minister on the briefing delivered by Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson and recently appointed Chief of Defence Staff Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman.
But Government sources told the Jamaica Observer that the prime minister has demanded a plan from the security chiefs as to how they will combat the crime wave which has left 112 people dead up to Sunday, January 23.
The 112 murders recorded so far are 15 more than the 97 killed in the same time last year.
In response to the killings, Holness declared a section of Central Kingston, Parade Gardens, a zone of special operations (ZOSO), with sections of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, also declared a ZOSO.
Westmoreland has recorded 12 murders so far this year — a 500 per cent increase over the same time last year.
Another western parish, St James, with 21 murders, leads the island as the police division with the most killings this year. The 21 murders in St James are three more than the 18 recorded at January 23 last year.
With a triple murder last Friday, Trelawny has already seen a 200 per cent increase over the first 23 days in January 2021, while the Kingston Central Police Division, which includes Parade Gardens, has seen a 50 per cent increase in murders.
According to the latest numbers from the police other major crimes have declined since the start of the year, with shootings down 14 per cent, rapes down 65 per cent, and robberies almost three per cent lower than last year.