KINGSTON, Jamaica, Saturday December 22, 2012 –Jamaica is on course to reduce the murder rate in the country to 12 per 100,000 by 2017, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington has said.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said the rate fell to 52 per 100,000 in 2010 then to 42 per 100,000 last year and the authorities say a further reduction of 12 per 100,000 by 2017 would place Jamaica among some of the countries with the lowest murder rates worldwide.
"I am convinced that if this trend were to continue, then reaching the targeted murder rate is achievable," Ellington said in his Christmas message to law enforcement officers.
He said St Catherine North and South, St Thomas, St Mary, Portland, St James and St Elizabeth had recorded reductions in murders and other serious crimes resulting for an overall decrease in crime across the island.
"The formulae of their successes must be used as a template by others to achieve better results in the coming year," he said, even as he warned against being too complacent.
"Our strategies must be bold game-changers, as anything less will continue to yield marginal reductions or maintenance of the current figures," he added.
In recent years, human rights groups both here and abroad have criticised Jamaica for the high number of civilians killed, including those by the police. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)