Jamaica Observer: KINGSTON – According to the latest police crime statistics, 1,171 people were murdered in Jamaica up to October 1, 2022.

This is 85 more homicides or an eight percent increase when compared to the corresponding period last year.

The St James Police Division leads the murder count with 160 cases, a 38 per cent increase compared to the 116 homicides reported in the division up to October 1 last year.

Westmoreland with 118 homicides; St Catherine North, 114; St Andrew South, 109; and St Catherine South, 97, round out the top five murderous police divisions of the 19 across the island.

A casket carrying the body of Shevon Johnson (age 16) is taken for burial by school mates and family members to the Dovecott cemetery in Spanish Town December 14, 2008. Johnson was stabbed to death by a classmate after a disagreement over a cell phone at the Dunoon Technical High School in Kingston, Jamaica November 17, 2008. Violence in Jamaican schools has increased along with the overall rates of violence in murder in Jamaica.

Although the St Andrew South Division is fourth on the list for the number of murders recorded across all police divisions, homicides are down by 16 per cent or 20 cases up to last Saturday.

Trelawny has the highest percentage increase in murders nationally, with a 133 per cent rise. This is just ahead of Manchester, where homicides have shot up by 132 per cent.

There were 28 killings committed in Trelawny up to October 1, compared with 12 for the corresponding period in 2021. In Manchester, 19 murders were recorded last year as opposed to 44 this year.

Portland remains the least murderous parish in 2022, having recorded nine murders so far this year.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s serious crimes report also showed that there was a decrease in the number of shooting incidents as of Saturday. There were 897 cases of shootings over the period under review, compared to 951 for the same period last year, which represented a decrease of six percent.

In the meantime, declines have been recorded in cases of rapes so far this year. Some 303 cases were recorded up to October 1 this year, down from the 349 observed in the corresponding period last year, representing a reduction of 46 cases or 13 per cent.

Robberies saw a 17 per cent increase with 676 incidents this year compared to 580 in 2021.

Regarding break-ins, there was a seven per cent increase so far this year. The data showed that 753 cases were recorded, compared to 705 last year.

Overall, the total number of serious and violent crimes committed so far this year has increased by four per cent.

A total of 3,800 serious and violent crimes were reported up to October 1, when compared to 3,671 incidents reported for the corresponding period in 2021.

Top Feature Photo: The scene of a recent double murder in Williamsfield, Manchester – Jamaica Observer