Mayor lauds lowest murder figure for a month since 2016 in St James Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

With six murders recorded in April, the lowest figure for St James in any given month since 2016, Montego Bay Mayor Richard Vernon is hoping that the positive trajectory regarding homicides will continue in the parish.

“I am pleased to hear of the reduction in homicides, particularly in the month of April,” said Vernon.

“It is one of the lowest that we have seen since 2016, and I believe we must underscore such achievements,” declared Vernon during the SJMC’s monthly meeting on Thursday. 

He was speaking after the positive crime statistics were shared by head of the St James Police Division, Superintendent Eron Samuels, at the meeting.

Vernon said the achievement should be recognised because when the crime situation is “untenable”, persons “come out and make a lot of noise and criticise the work of the police, (and) we criticise the Government.” 

Earlier, Samuels, in delivering the police report, said the parish’s crime fighters were looking to bolster their partnerships with communities in St James in order to maintain the reductions in crime.

“For the month of April, we saw the division recording the lowest murder figure of a month since 2016, with six murders… a little too many just the same, but the efforts of the division must be noted,” said Samuels.

He did not give a comparative analysis between April this year and other months to support his point.

Samuels, however, attributed a number of elements to the reduction of homicides.

“It could be for a number of factors, one of which is the policing activities that we did. Since January, we have been working really hard within the spaces, trying to control the different conflicts,” he said. 

Overall, St James has recorded 48 murders between January 1 and May 4, according to the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) serious crime report.

The figure represents a decline of eight murders or a 14.3 per cent decrease when compared to the 56 murders that were recorded over the same period last year in the parish.

Still, despite the reduction for St James, the police division still has the highest recorded number of murders among the geographical police divisions island-wide so far this year.

Jamaica has recorded 371 murders as at May 4, a 13.1 per cent decrease or 56 less than the 427 murders that were reported for the corresponding period last year.