Domestic disputes behind most murders of returning residents - Chang
Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, while condemning the recent murders of returning residents as “wicked and un-Jamaican", says most of the cases are a result of domestic disputes.
“Let me reiterate and be very clear, that these horrific acts of violence against our citizens are reprehensible. It is even more troubling, that in most cases, these killings are a result of domestic disputes between the victims and persons well-known to them,” Chang said in a statement Thursday.
The national security minister made the statement in response to the deaths of Karen Cleary-Brown and Barbara Findley, whose bodies were found on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, after they were reported missing. Both women had returned to the island from the United Kingdom.
In an apparent response to comments made to Loop News by Percival LaTouche, President of the Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents, Chang said “It is irresponsible to suggest that these killings are a result of targeted attacks on our returning Jamaicans. The police reports indicate instead, that several of the murders are committed by men who have endeared themselves to the victims.”
LaTouche, while reacting to the killing of Cleary in an interview with our news team, urged Jamaicans overseas not to return home, saying the returning residents’ community, which is said to be in excess of 30,000, is cowering in fear due to crimes being committed against its members.
Chang noted that 11 returning Jamaicans have been killed in Jamaica over the course of this year and all of the accused have been apprehended.
“We call on persons with information concerning any murder, to tell the police or call Crime Stop and share what you know. For the festive season, our security forces have increased deployment, to continue to reduce crimes, especially homicides,” Chang said.
The security minister added that: “We are on one hand, are satisfied that the homicide rate is heading in the right direction, with a 21 per cent decrease in murders. But, on the other hand we cannot, and must not as a nation, accept these occurrences as a norm. Let us this holiday season, return to being each other's keeper.”
In the meantime, also on Thursday, junior minister for Foreign Affairs, Pearnel Charles Jr, moved to assure that the Government's efforts are focused on providing a safe place for all Jamaicans.
“I want to reassure the people of Jamaica that the Government remains steadfast in its commitment to fighting the scourge of crime that affects every aspect of our society. We continue to take a multifaceted approach to crime fighting in making Jamaica a safe place for all,” the junior minister said.
The body of 43-year-old Cleary-Brown was discovered in a shallow grave at the house she was building in Boscobel, St Mary, while Findley's decomposing body was found near to her residence in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth.
The developments came days after the body of 72-year-old American Nancy Hardy was found in a shallow grave in Hanover last week Wednesday, four days after she had been reported missing.
Hardy was of Amherst, Massachusetts in the United States and Phase 3, Whitehall in Negril, Westmoreland.