Clarendon gets special attention - But serious crime up in St Elizabeth
Clarendon is one of the parishes that has been targeted by the security forces as part of a massive islandwide operation aimed at reducing major crimes including murder.
However, St Elizabeth, which is one of the seven police divisions showing an increase in serious crimes, has not been selected as an area for special attention.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) yesterday said that sections of Westmoreland, Hanover, St James, Clarendon, St Catherine, and Kingston and St Andrew will see a large deployment of soldiers and police over the coming days and weeks. The security forces will be conducting targeted raids, vehicle check points, aerial operations, patrols, cordon and searches, snap raids and curfews in the pursuit of wanted men.
"The JDF has committed all available resources and personnel to the fight as we put our support behind the police who are leading the operations," Major Basil Jarrett, civil military cooperation and media affairs officer at the JDF, said.
The increased security measure comes even as the police report a 21 per cent decrease in murders, when compared to last year.
There have been 1,194 murders between January 1 and December 1,331 fewer than the 1,525 recorded over the corresponding period last year.
The central parishes of St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon have all seen a decline in their murder figures.
St Elizabeth has recorded 21 murders over the period, four fewer than the same period last year; Clarendon has recorded 129 murders, 32 fewer than the 161 last year; and Manchester has recorded 26 murders, a 40 per cent decline from the 44 last year.
Shooting has, however, gone up 64 per cent in St Elizabeth; robbery has soared 48 per cent and break-ins have gone up by 19 per cent.
Other categories of serious crimes such as rape, larceny and aggravated assault, have gone up by 21 per cent in St Elizabeth.
In Manchester, shootings have gone up by 16 per cent, while Clarendon has seen a 34 per cent decrease.
The JDF is urging persons to call the JDF Tip Line number at 876-837-8888 to give information on known criminal activity.