The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said, for the first time since the start of the year, it is able to report that there is no increase in the periodical murder rate in the St Catherine North Police Division, which include Spanish Town, Bog Walk, Linstead, Ewarton and Lluidas Vale.
The JCF, in a press statement today (June 5), said the murder rate is slowing, considering the major increases recorded in the division in the early part of the year.
As a result of those early increases, Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared an ongoing state of public emergency in the division on March 18.
The JCF, this morning, said: “Of note, the St Catherine North Divison, for the first time in 2018, has recorded no increase in murders and is seeing 6 less cases of shootings, a 12.2 percent reduction when compared to the same period last year.”
“There has been 59 reported cases of murders in the division since the start of the year, compared to the same figure for the comparative period, which represents no increase. The data is indicating a downward trajectory in murders and shootings in that division,” added the JCF.
It said the slowing of the murder rate in the division is partly due to the increased presence of the security forces since declaration of the state of emergency.
When the state of emergency was declared on March 18, the police force disclosed that there were some 49 murders and 35 shootings in the St Catherine North Division.
For all of 2017, the division recorded 136 murders and 137 shooting incidents.