Over the last 10 years Jamaica and St.Kitts-Nevis have been consistent among the top most murderous countries in the Caribbean and the world as far as murder rates per capita .
Jamaica continues to grapple with crime as police there are reporting 34 murders in the first 11 days of this year, a slight uptick from the 33 recorded over the same period last year.
But this is well below the 57 murders recorded in the first 11 days of 2018, and the 41 in the corresponding period in 2017.
With 36 cases of shooting recorded so far this year, the police note that this is one fewer than the 37 recorded to January 11 last year.
The number of rape cases has fallen dramatically, with nine reported cases so far this year compared to 21 in the first 11 days of last year. This represents a 57 per cent decline.
There is a 69 per cent drop in the number of aggravated assault cases reported so far this year, with four incidents reported to the cops down from 13 last year.
The reported cases of robberies, break-ins and larceny are also down, with the police reporting 47 so far this year compared to 63 in the same period last year.
The figures are included in the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Serious and Violent Crimes Review published on Sunday.
Official crime statistics for 2019 have not yet been released by the police, but at December 28, Jamaica’s murder total stood at 1,326, a three per cent increase over 2018.
In St.Kitts-Nevis which just a few years ago under the Previous Dr. Denzil Douglas led gov’t had a record high murder rate which was 2nd in the world are today, just a few years later and now under a different Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris, are boasting a massive 48% decline in murders in addition to an overall 40% decline in crime. This includes an unprecedented period of 8 months from May 2018 to December 2019 of absolutely NO HOMICIDES. Records show that not since the 70’s has the country gone 8 months straight without a single homicide. In 2011 the country had it’s highest murder count ever with 37 murders. That number of murder in a population of just over 50,000 made it the 2nd highest murder rate in the world. Compare 2019 this past year when the country recorded just 10 murders including the last 8 months of the year being absolutely murder free.
The dramatic change was due to a number of crime fighting initiatives including a well touted PEACE initiative between warring gangs which was facilitated by the Ministry of National Security. The facilitation came through the form of employment and support for the establishment of small business by gang members who had committed to a lifestyle change based on peace between rival gangs. The support came from a combination of Public and Private Sector entities that teamed up to pursue the facilitation of the rehabilitation of the former gang bangers. The initiative has been a tremendous success thus far.
The initiative has been so successful that other Caribbean countries such as Barbados have flown officials to St.Kitts-Nevis with a view of adopting some of the initiatives pursued in St.Kitts-Nevis to reduce crime there.