There were 1,326 murders committed in Jamaica, according to official police statistics.
The number is 43 more than the similar period in 2018. It also represents a 3.4 per cent increase in murders, the police’s statistics for serious and violent crimes as at December 28, reveal.
Also, there were 1,246, or 90 more shootings for the period, reflecting a 7.8 per cent increase in those incidents. Along with 484 rapes and 361 aggravated assaults (declines of 3.8 and 4.7 per cent respectively), the country saw a total of 3,417 serious and violent crimes, which is 96 more than 2018, or an increase of 2.9 per cent.
Commenting on the figures, Opposition spokesman on national security, Fitz Jackson told the Jamaica Observer that the statistics indicate that the measures implemented by the State were unable to reduce crime.
“By virtue of the number we are looking at it is clear that what the Government is doing hasn’t worked and it’s not giving the desired results. It’s a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion anymore,” he stated, arguing that murders continue to increase even in areas where the states of emergency (SOE) are in force.
Furthermore, Jackson said the boots on the ground are exhausted and their productivity impaired, as a result. “The personnel involved are exhausted and their productivity has been compromised in a significant way. It’s not like any other work, you’re talking about security of the communities. There is no effective policing taking place in these areas and the criminals are aware. They’re [criminals] not hiding in some hole,” he said.
Jackson said criminals have made their own assessment of security operations and are taking evasive action such as using alternate routes. “While you have a dip in the SOE areas — what they do not showcase is that the numbers increase in the other areas and that’s why you have increase year-to-year. The criminals have now seen the modus operandi [of the security forces] and they operate around them,” he asserted.