Jamaica: Murders Fell Below 80 in September, First Time in 8 Years

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica police are reporting that, for the first time since July 2002 when 72 murderers were recorded, the number of murders committed in a single month fell below 80, with the 77 recorded in September.

Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) statistics, released Monday (October 11), showed that last month’s figure was 55 less than for the same period last year, representing a 42 per cent per cent decline. Additionally, last month accounted for the lowest number of murders in any month reported so far this year.

September 2010, according to the JCF, was also the fourth consecutive month that the number of crimes committed declined, as well as fall below the psychological 100 mark. The overall number of murders reported between January and September this year, 1065, was 135 less than the same period last year.

Jamaica’s Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington

Fifteen of the 19 police divisions recorded declines in murders during September, with Hanover leading the way with a 300 per cent drop. Other divisions, which recorded declines, were: Kingston Eastern, Central and Western; St. Andrew North and South; St. Catherine North and South; St. James, which recorded a 70 per cent dip, falling from 27 in September 2009 to eight this year; and Clarendon, which reported five less murders last month.

The police are also reporting an overall 14 per cent decline in five of the six other categories of major crimes committed during September, compared to August. The statistics showed that the overall incidence of shooting, rape, carnal abuse, robbery and larceny, reported between January and September, totaled 401 which, added to the 77 murders, total 478 major crimes reported for the month.

Break-ins totaled 336, the only area recording an increase, bringing the overall tally for September to 814, about 131 less than the number for the same period last year.

The JCF reported that some 30 firearms and 175 rounds of ammunition were recovered by members of the security forces during September. Pistols accounted for the most firearms recovered with 15 finds, followed by revolvers – 12; and one find each of a sub-machine gun, a homemade gun and shotgun. The overall figure was 13 less than the corresponding period last year.

The gun figured in 57 or 74 per cent of the murders committed during September, while the knife was used to commit 12, or 16 per cent, of the murders and the machete in three or four per cent. The remaining five murders, six per cent, were attributed to others types of weapons.

The 175 rounds of ammunition recovered were 181 less than the find for the same period, last year.

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