Jamaica Observer:– The latest statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have revealed that 72 murders were committed in the first two weeks of 2022.
This figure represents a 24 per cent increase in murders compared to the corresponding period last year.
There was a 350 per cent increase in the number of murders in Westmoreland, with nine murders committed since 2022, compared with two for the corresponding period last year.
This statistic triggered an announcement by Prime Minister Andrew Holness that a crime-plagued section of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland had been declared a Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO). The communities of Russia, Dalling Street and Dexter Street, will form the epicentre of the ZOSO.
According to the JCF, from January 1 to 15, there was a 300 per cent increase in murders in the Kingston Central division with four murders since the start of the year, compared to one for the corresponding period last year.
There were increases of 100 per cent and 80 per cent in St Catherine South and St Catherine North divisions respectively.
There was a 27 per cent increase in murders in St James, with 14 murders recorded.
As of Saturday, the police statistics revealed that there was a 10 per cent reduction in shootings, with 44 such incidents. This is five less than the corresponding period last year.
Robberies were up 9.3 per cent while rape and break-ins fell when compared with last year’s figures for the corresponding period.