Crime, especially murders, remained unabated in the Caribbean in 2019. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda and even Barbados were among CARICOM countries where crime had become a major issue this year. In Jamaica 1,326 murders were committed in Jamaica up to December 28, according to official police statistics.
The number is 43 more than the similar period in 2018. Prime Minister Andrew Holness said his government remained committed to fighting the crime situation in the country, as private sector groups called on it, as well as the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), to end their combative utterances on crime and channel their efforts towards expediting the national consensus on crime.
In Trinidad and Tobago, as in Jamaica, the murder toll passed the 2018 figure of 517, despite the appointment a tear ago of a Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, who promised to deal with the situation.
But while the 54-year-old Griffith is being regarded as a “super hero” in some quarters, he has not hidden his disgust at the fact that the courts are releasing on bail criminals caught with high powered rifles.
In Barbados, the levels of crime and violence grew to an unprecedented level in 2019.
The island had recorded 49 murders as the year was coming to an end, the highest ever number recorded, almost doubling the 28 murders of 2018.
In an attempt to stem the rising violence the Mia Mottley administration in April made amendments to the Firearms Act so that where a person was charged with murder, treason and high treason or an offence under the Firearms Act which is punishable with imprisonment of ten years or more, that person shall not be granted bail unless 24 months have passed. In Bermuda, the police said 131 murders had been committed with just a few days left in 2019 as compared with 144, the previous year. (Source: Barbados Today)