Commander of the St Ann Police Division, Senior Superintendent Dwight Powell, has credited effective “crime management” for the reduction the parish has seen in a number of criminal activities this year.
In addressing the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation on Thursday, Powell said four of the seven major crime categories have seen reductions when compared with the similar period last year.
“Since the start of this year, we have been doing what I consider (to be) extremely well as it relates to crime management in the parish of St Ann,” shared the commander.
“We had a very good year in 2021, and so for this year, we had set some targets, and we are very pleased that we are almost on point with those targets as it relates to crime management,” he indicated.
Among the crime categories where noticeable reductions have occurred are murders, break-ins, rape and larceny, said Powell.
“So, four of the seven categories are going in the direction we are projecting,” he shared.
Statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) confirmed the superintendent’s information in the highly watched category of murder, for example.
Up to Monday, June 6, the JCF reported that St Ann had recorded 19 murders, in comparison to 22 cases for the corresponding period last year. This represents a 13.6 per cent decrease in homicides in the parish.
For rape, there were nine such cases reported up to June 6, compared with 12 cases last year, a 25 per cent reduction.
Additionally, the garden parish recorded a 14.5 per cent decrease in break-ins, or 47 cases so far this year, compared to 55 last year.
Meanwhile, Powell lamented that, “Where we are having some challenges are in three of the categories, as in robberies, aggravated assaults and shooting incidents.”
JCF statistics showed that in the area of shootings, there were 19 cases up to June 6, an increase of three, or 18.8 per cent over last year’s figure.
“… And when we look at our numbers, in terms of robberies, we are seeing 50 robberies reported to us since the start of the year, as against 21 for the corresponding period in 2021,” Powell told councillors on Thursday.
“This is a reflective increase of 138 per cent in terms of the robberies,” he continued.
Powell noted that the percentage increase was “much worse than that” earlier in the year.
“The reason why it is looking a little different (now) is because of the mitigating measures that have been implemented, and we believe that those measures have been resulting in a slowing down of this category of offence that we’ve been seeing,” he reasoned.
According to Powell, citizens should continue to cooperate with law enforcers and provide information, in order for there to be reductions in the three crime areas of concern, as well as the other categories that have shown clear signs of decreasing.