Saturday 7 December, 2019

Murder down in Westmoreland since SOE, but robberies aplenty this year

Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers being deployed in Westmoreland at the beginning of the ongoing state of emergency in the parish, along with Hanover and St James, on April 30.

Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers being deployed in Westmoreland at the beginning of the ongoing state of emergency in the parish, along with Hanover and St James, on April 30.

The Westmoreland police are reporting a nearly 100 per cent spike in the number of robberies in the parish since the start of the year.

The data was revealed by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Carlos Russell, who has responsibility for operations in the Westmoreland Police Division, during the monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation on Thursday.

"So far this year, we have had 52 robberies, compared to 27 last year. We have also had 36 break-ins, compared to the 22 last year," Russell revealed.

The western parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover and St James have been under a state of emergency (SOE) since April 30.

DSP Russell also reported that there have been a drop in the murder rate for Westmoreland since the declaration of the SOE, with four murders being recorded there over the period. There have been no killings in the often volatile town of Savanna-la-Mar since the enhanced security measures.

"Since the start of the year, we have had a 32 per cent reduction in murder. We are currently at 47, when compared with 68 at the same time last year. For shootings, we have had a 45 per cent decrease. That is now at 48, when compared to 88 last year," Russell declared.

"Since the start of the state of emergency in the parish, we have had four murders in the parish," he indicated.

Last year, 141 murders were reported in Westmoreland, seven shy of the 148 that were recorded there in 2017.

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