Jamaica’s Murder Rate Down 30 Percent Since Beginning of 2012: Report

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 29, 2012

Above: Jamaican National Security Minister Peter Bunting (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica’s murder rate has fallen from a rate of 3.1 per day to two per day, according to National Security Minister Peter Bunting.

That represents a 30 percent reduction since the beginning of the year, Bunting said this week.

“Hopefully, we are seeing the beginning of a trend and there are certain mechanisms in place to ensure that we don’t lose these gains that we have been picking up,” he said. “In fact, all major crimes have been trending down over the past few months … but this is not enough.”

Earlier this month, Bunting’s Ministry reported that the murder rate in March was the country’s lowest in a single month since February 2003, with 69 murders.

At the time, Bunting said a number of factors had contributed to the reduction, including increased deployment of Jamaica Defence Force personnel and mobile reserves in the St Catherine North area, along with an anti-gang media campaign.

Some international studies have found that Jamaica’s economy would show significant gains if it were to lower its crime rate, a finding echoed by Bunting.

“[Without] extraordinary levels of crime, our economy and our earnings per capita would be somewhere between three times and 10 times its current levels,” he said. “That doesn’t even take into account the grief, the misery, the pain and suffering caused to the families of the victims.”

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