Jamaica has recorded an 18% reduction in murders for the period January 1 to September 24, according to police statistics shared by the Government yesterday.
A total of 714 murders were reported, compared to 871 for the same period last year.
Yesterday, National Security Minister Peter Bunting, while encouraged by the reduction, said the numbers were still too high.
Bunting spoke about the murder figures during an address to the Realtors Association of Jamaica Annual General Meeting in New Kingston.
The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) reported Bunting as saying that if the trend remains at the current pace, although not desirable, there is a high possibility of the murder figure for the calendar year remaining under 1,000.
This, he said, would be the first time in “many, many” years, and would represent a “psychological benchmark”, the JIS reported.
Last night, Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Crime Glenmore Hinds said he was pleased with the reduction and the general downward trend in all other major crimes.
“However, the fight is far from over, as the criminals are still out there; they are still brazen, as evidenced by the callous murder of young Constable James Grant on Tuesday in August Town,” Hinds said.
“The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) remains resolute and will continue to work to achieve even further reductions,” Hinds added. “I congratulate all the men and women of the JCF for their sterling effort in reducing all crimes.”
The police division recording the biggest decrease in murders in Clarendon with 64, compared to 93 over the same period last year, a reduction of 29.
St. Andrew South and Westmoreland recorded 24 fewer murders. In St. Andrew Central, there were 23 less murders, while in St. Catherine South the number fell by 15 and St. Thomas saw 12 less murders.