"Escalation in Murders Warrants Urgent Statement by Bunting" - SMITH
With reported incidents of murder up to June 27 standing at 575 or 18% above the corresponding period last year, Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Mr. Derrick Smith, is describing the situation as alarming and warranting an urgent statement by the National Security minister.
Mr. Smith said: "The pattern of increase in murders since the start of the year is extremely alarming and is serious cause for concern. What is particularly distressing is the heightened anxiety and fear it is creating across the country, while there is no indication that the authorities are on top of the situation."
He continued: "The rapid escalation in murders since the start of the year, warrants an urgent statement from Minister Bunting, as to what is causing the problem, the authorities' assessment of the situation, but most importantly, the police commissioner's report as to what is being done about it. Nothing short of effective crime management strategies need to be employed and communicated at this time, if there is any hope of reducing the murder figures, and in so doing, ease the fear and anxiety now gripping the citizenry."
The Opposition Spokesman says when the significant decline in murders during the latter half of 2014 is taken into account, the current murder trajectory is particularly ominous, because if there is no vast reduction similar to that recorded last year, the country could be in for mayhem and significant loss of lives.
Mr. Smith, in closing, says Minister Bunting must take special note of, and take immediate steps to effectively address the situation in St. James where murders have gone up by 61% and in the following police divisions which recorded the following increases in incidents of murder: Westmoreland 91%, St. Thomas 140%, St. Andrew Central 38%, Kingston Central 30%, and Clarendon 30%.