Major crimes down in western Jamaica - But still areas for improvement
The Jamaica Constabulary Force's Periodic Serious Crime Review for January 1 to June 1 is showing reduction in murders, shootings, and robberies overall in western Jamaica.
"Any reduction in major crimes must be encouraging as our aim is to create safe communities across the parish," said Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the commanding officer for Hanover. "We have a committed team of officers and with the SOE providing additional support, we are hoping that the last two quarters will be even better."
Since the start of 2019, Hanover has recorded 16 murders, eight less than the comparative period in 2018. Hanover is second only to Westmoreland, which has seen a dramatic reduction in murders, falling from last year's horrifying 67 to 44.
But in St James, where the parish's commanding officer Superintendent Vernon Ellis wants to hold murders below 100 for the first time since 2006, the year has started off badly, as the second quarter ended with 58 murders, 18 more than the comparative period last year.
RISE IN MURDERS
Trelawny and St Elizabeth, the region's most peaceful parishes in recent years, both saw a slight uptick in murders.
Trelawny had 14 in comparison to last year's 10, while St Elizabeth had 11 against last year's nine.
In shootings, St James was again the dominant parish with 62, compared to last year's 47 over the comparative period.
Despite being second behind St James with 44, Westmoreland has a major reduction as it had 88 over the comparative period in 2018.
Hanover has 13 in comparison to last year's 21, St Elizabeth has seven to last year's 13, while Trelawny has eight, two more than last year.
In terms of robberies, Westmoreland showed a massive increase over last year, moving from 15 to 45.
St Elizabeth continues to show a worrying trend as the second quarter ended with 34, only four less than last year.
St James' 24 was the same as in 2018, while Trelawny and Hanover improved from 11 to nine and nine to two, respectively.
In regards to sexual assault, except for Hanover, which showed a slight increase, the region showed a reduction overall, moving down from 50 to 44.
Hanover ended up with six incidents in comparison to last year's five.
But St James dropped from 13 to 11, Trelawny from seven to four, Westmoreland from 16 to 14, and St Elizabeth from 15 to nine.