Nearly 600 people were murdered in Jamaica during the first six months of this year, figures released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
It said that between the period January 1 to June 3, a total of 585 people were murdered representing a 16 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.
According to the figures 136 persons were killed during the month of May, 18 more than the number of persons killed in May last year and 26 more than the number recorded in May 2015.
In the first three days of this month, 5 people have been murdered.
Opposition Spokesman on National Security Peter Bunting said that based on his calculations, approximately 639 persons have been killed since the start of the year, including 54 murders reportedly committed during the first 10 days of this month.
“The Opposition is alarmed at the spiralling murder rate, and, really, the lack of a coherent response from the Government on the issue,” said Bunting, adding “we need an emergency allocation of resources to dramatically improve the presence of the police and military.
“We will need a period of saturation patrolling in multiple hotspot areas, and the security forces cannot sustain that without a large injection of funds for fuel, to acquire new vehicles, for food, and all that it takes to maintain personnel on operations.”
Bunting blamed the two billion dollar (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) reduction in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of National Security for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, as part of the reasons for the upsurge in criminal activitiy here.
“What is happening now is that the police are starved of resources,” said Bunting.
Last year, Jamaica recorded 1,350 murders with the police claiming that 65 per cent of these murders were linked to gangs.
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