A 50 per cent spike in murders in St Ann, and an almost similar increase in the Kingston Western Police Division, have pushed Jamaica’s murder total since the start of this year to 891. However, this number is still a shade below the 932 reported for the same period last year.

Official year-to-date crime figures from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) show murders down by 4.4 per cent up to September 12, when compared to the corresponding period last year.

In St Ann, the police have recorded 48 murders so far this year, up from 32 last year. The Kingston Western Police Division has recorded 69 murders this year compared to 48 last year, for a 44 per cent jump.

The other worrying police divisions are Kingston Central, where murders are up 35 per cent, and St Mary, where the 22 murders reported so far this year, although relatively low, represent a 47 per cent increase over last year.

On the other side, policing measures in Clarendon, including a state of emergency that was recently lifted, have led to a 37 per cent reduction in murders with 64 recorded so far this year, down from 102 over the same period last year.

The problem plagued St Andrew South Police Division, which covers more than 15 violence-prone communities including Seaview Gardens, Olympic Gardens, Payne Land, and sections of Maxfield Avenue, continues to lead the island with the number of murders — 94 — but that still represents a 13 per cent reduction compared to last year.

Other major crimes are also down, with 860 shooting incidents reported to the police up to last Saturday, a four per cent drop when compared to last year.

The police have also recorded a 12 per cent decline in the number of rape cases, and an 11 per cent decline in the number of robberies reported.

The JCF is expected to announce several measures to further reduce crime following a recent meeting with returned Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang.

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