Measures implemented by the Government led to a major decline in murders and other major crimes last year.
Reduction in Major Crimes
• The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) reported a reduction in serious and violent crimes between January 1 and December 29, compared to the corresponding period in 2017.
• Murders declined by 21.7 per cent; shootings, 22.2 per cent; rape, 12.3 per cent; and aggravated assault 12.1 per cent.
• Robberies declined by 15.1 per cent relative to the corresponding period in 2017; break-ins were down 4.3 per cent
• The incidence of praedial larceny declined by 30.3 per cent in 2017, while motor vehicle theft also dropped by 27.9 per cent.
Using Technology to Fight Crime
• Jamaica Eye, a national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance initiative aimed at improving public safety and disaster response, was launched.
• More than 400 CCTVs were installed by the Government at strategic locations island-wide and more than 200 private partners joined the network.
• 550 cameras were procured for installation in high-priority areas.
• The programme is targeting the installation of 1,000 cameras by 2019.
• US$45,000 was provided to procure technology to aid in the recovery of stolen cellular phones, while a database was established to facilitate the registration of phones.
• The JCF acquired three additional drones, bringing the total to eight for operational deployment.
• Closed-circuit cameras were installed at major lock-ups – Hunts Bay, Half-Way Tree, Morant Bay, Mandeville, May Pen, Spanish Town, Montego Bay, Barnett Street, Ocho Rios and Constant Spring.
Acquisition of Vehicles
• Over 42 motorcycles and 19 motor cars, valued $104 million, were presented to JCF. The motorcycles, valued $44 million, were assigned to the Traffic Division while the 19 motor cars, which cost approximately $60 million, were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB).
• The St. Thomas Police Division received six motor vehicles.
• The Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) received two new motor vehicles.
Upgrading of Facilities
• A new multimillion-dollar administrative building was opened on the grounds of the Office of the Police Commissioner. It houses the Heads of Department for Administration, Operations and Strategic Operations; and the Criminal Investigation Branch headquarters, among other senior officers.
• Ground was broken to build a new police station in Port Maria, St. Mary at a cost of $60 million.
• Work was advanced on the construction of a new police station in Buff Bay, Portland at a cost of $50 million. The 4,000-square-foot facility is slated for completion in November 2019.
• A police post was opened in Green Acres, St. Catherine.
• New dormitories were opened at Harman Barracks, St. Andrew.
• Minor repairs were carried out at 74 police stations across the island through the JCF #150 station fix-up initiative.
• Renovations were undertaken at the Mobile Reserve to improve services for deported persons.