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Violent crimes in Jamaica drop by 10 per cent

Security Minister Peter Bunting

Security Minister Peter Bunting

KINGSTON — Security Minister Peter Bunting yesterday said that “serious and violent crimes” had dropped 10 per cent and proclaimed that it was an indication of progress, but admitted that it was not enough for victims and their families.

Making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate at Gordon House in Kingston, Bunting said statistics for the period January 1 to June 15, when compared with last year, also showed that acquisitory crimes such as robbery, house-breaking and larceny were down by 13 per cent.

Official figures show that between January 1 and June 17 this year there were 488 murders, compared to 515 over the same period last year. However, a monthly breakdown shows that between June 1 and 17 last year there were 45 murders compared to 52 for the same period this year.

Between May 1 and 17 this year there were 37 murders. In the year-to-date figures, most parishes reflected a decrease in murders compared to the same period last year with Trelawny, St. Mary, Clarendon, and Kingston Central showing the most noticeable increases.

For the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, St. Ann, and Manchester there were significant decreases in the number of murders as compared to the same period last year.

Yesterday, Bunting noted that in the last three years murders year-to-date declined by 40 per cent. He said in 2010 murders were 67 per cent higher than in 2013.

In the meantime, the national security minister said there has been an increase in the seizures of narcotics and illegal firearms, which, he announced, are up eight and 14 per cent respectively.

“That is the reality of where we are today. I know that for victims and their families, the fact that the statistics are going down is not enough, but it is important to indicate the progress that is being made,” he said.

“We are making some progress; however, we are still, in absolute terms, at an unacceptably high level of crime by international standards,” Bunting noted.

Stating that he was “therefore campaigning like when (he) was looking for votes” Bunting said he had been engaging a number of groups, including churches and their leaders, to help in the fight against crime. (Observer)

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