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Major crimes down 16.8 per cent

Major crimes — categorised by the police as murder, shooting, rape, and aggravated assault — have dropped by just under 17 per cent between January 1 and August 11, compared to the same period last year, the Jamaica Constabulary Force reported yesterday.

According to the police force’s ‘Periodic Serious and Violent Crimes Review’, a total of 797 murders were reported over the period — a 16.8 per cent decrease on the 958 committed over the same time line last year.

Shootings dropped by 15.4 per cent, with 706 recorded for the current period compared to 835 last year.

The data also showed that 269 acts of rape were committed between January 1 and August 11, 2018, a decrease of 15.1 per cent on the 317 reported over the same period last year, while 213 cases of aggravated assault were reported, compared to 276, a decrease of 22.8 per cent.

The statistics would have come as good news for the Government which has been stoutly defending its imposition of anti-crime measures in St Catherine Northern, St James, and Denham Town in West Kingston that have limited some individual freedoms.

However, the 797 murders represented increases of 55 over the same period in 2016; 68 on those reported in 2015; and 99 for the same period in 2014.

But the data also showed that 668 robberies were committed between January 1 and August 11, a decrease of 9.4 per cent; break-ins were down 7.2 per cent, while larceny increased by 12.2 per cent.

For the review period, the police report that 453 firearms and 7,247 rounds of ammunition were seized, compared to 520 firearms and 12,719 rounds over the similar time line last year.

Guns were used to commit 80.4 per cent of murders (641) for the review period compared to 81 per cent (776) last year, while knives were used to commit 56 murders so far this year, compared to 61 last year.