DESPITE the best efforts of the security forces, the murder rate continues to climb as figures compiled by the Jamaica Observer showed that murders rose by nine per cent last year, when compared to 2012.
Some 1,200 persons were slain in 2013, compared to 1,097 in 2012.
Even on the eve of the new year, police were working around the clock to deal with the upsurge in violence. Police said they held a 16-year-old student in Bethel Town, Westmoreland for the stabbing death of 32-year-old Jerome Wilson, unemployed, of Charlesmont, Belvedere, also in the parish.
About 5:00 pm, the police reported, Wilson and the student were involved in an altercation when a knife was brought into play and Wilson was stabbed to death.
In Kingston, police were investigating Monday’s shooting death of 21-year-old Paul Bailey, also called ‘Flakes’, who was shot dead by gunmen in the tough community of Majesty Gardens, popularly known as ‘Back To’.
Police said about 8:00 pm Bailey was walking in the community when a group of gunmen approached him and shot him all over his body.
Majesty Gardens was plagued by constant bloodletting last year, which resulted in over a dozen deaths and several injuries by the gun.
Some 94 murders were committed islandwide in December, compared to 85 in 2012.
On Sunday, 20-year-old Dyran Dyer of Mahogany Road in Kingston 11 was shot dead by an armed man while in the company of a woman in the Bay Farm Villa community.
Gang feuds in the communities of Denham Town and an area know as ‘Spanglers’ in downtown Kingston also contributed to the spike in murders last year.
Armed thugs from both communities were embroiled in a bloody battle for control of extortion rights in the capital city, and the result has been dozens of murders and shootings.
The police said they managed to quell the Denham Town gang violence with the help of Jamaica Defence Force soldiers, but the situation still remained tense in that section of the capital city.
There were also several crimes of passion and domestic-related murders last year.
On Sunday, police arrested the spouse of 20-year-old Melessia Evans and father of her four-month-old son Jeliana Green, in connection with their brutal murders. Their bodies were found in Sign district St James, Saturday morning.
Evans’ throat was reportedly cut and her head partially severed, while the infant’s body was found floating in a sewage treatment tank.