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Major crimes collectively at 20-year low, says Chang 

Although murders are slightly up this year in comparison to the same period in 2020, National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, has stated that Jamaica is witnessing its lowest recording of serious crimes overall in over 20 years.

This he said is as a result of massive investments that have been made over the last five years in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as part of the policy direction of the security ministry.

Chang made the comments on Tuesday during his contribution to the 2021-2022 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

“Over the last five years, serious crimes, which include murder, shooting, rape, robbery and break-ins, have declined by an average of five per cent per annum,” he said.

He further stated that between 2015 and 2020, total reported serious crimes declined by approximately 24 per cent, moving from 6,667 in 2015 to 5,086 in 2020.

“This is the lowest recording of serious crimes in over 20 years,” asserted Chang.

According to him, the decline is due in large part to the ministry’s overall strategy on crime prevention, detection and mitigation through an outlay that has positively impacted areas of the JCF.

He said this includes technology, training and physical upgrading, bringing the force into 21st century policing and further positioning the JCF as a ‘Force for Good’.

Chang told the House that the Jamaican people are now becoming accustomed to the new look, improved efficiency and professionalism of the JCF.

“We are now seeing significant improvements in policing capacity and response, as well as the crime trends,” he stated.

“There is a renewed confidence and heightened reassurance that this modern, more agile and efficient police force is transmitting to the public, and rightly so,” he added.

Continuing, Chang said Jamaicans can take comfort and be confident that the re-equipped and restructured JCF is impacting on the level of criminal violence in the society.

He said reliable mobility, quality communications, effective surveillance and efficient record-keeping and case management are critical elements of a 21st century police force that is equipped to apprehend modern criminals.