Deadly age range
Chang says police analysis reveals most killers, victims 25-40 years old
THE MAIN perpetrators of murder and their victims fall in the age group 25 to 44, according to a recent analysis by the police.
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang revealed that last year 63 per cent of the agents of death fell into the 25 to 44 age group, while 52 per cent of their victims fell within a similar age band.
Declaring that there was a need for strong policing to tackle criminal violence, Chang said those responsible for the majority of murders were seasoned criminals.
“They are not amenable to restorative justice and diversion programmes. These are criminals who need to be apprehended, charged, imprisoned and rehabilitated under controlled circumstances or separated from society until they can do no further harm,” Chang said, adding that the police must be equipped and trained to deal effectively with these criminals.
SHIFT IN OPERATIONS
The national security minister noted that there was a shift in the way criminals were operating as they form alliances to hit high-value targets.
He made reference to recent incidents involving the stealing of ATMs and the targeting of security teams moving cash, and also heists at cash-heavy locations.
While inter-gang wars have been reduced, Chang said that the impact of criminal alliances which carry out major robberies has “significantly impacted the national psyche”.
The security minister sought to assure Jamaicans that the police have built up intelligence, analysed their activities and are developing effective strategic deployments.
“We continue to expand and improve our intelligence capabilities to ensure they have all the tools required for strong, effective policing, including legislative tools such as the zones of special operations and states of public emergency,” he said.
LOWEST MURDER COUNT
Chang also reported that the first quarter of 2023 recorded the lowest murder count for a first quarter in the last seven years.
“Since the start of this year and up to April 22, 2023, murders committed in the country have reduced by 17 per cent compared to 2022, while overall major crimes have seen a 20 per cent reduction,” the minister shared.
He argued that with the continued use of the states of public emergency, and with increased numbers in the security forces and the additional equipment in which the administration is investing, the Government could assure the country of a one-third reduction in homicides.
Turning to the legislative framework, Chang said that the long-awaited amendment to the Proceeds of Crime Act to include provisions for unexplained wealth will be completed this year.
Chang also told his parliamentary colleagues that Jamaica will be hosting the 37th International Drug Enforcement Conference later this year.
He said the conference is expected to have more than 400 dignitaries, high-ranking police and military delegates from more than 100 countries in attendance.
Jamaica is the first CARICOM country to host this conference.
According to Chang, the conference will create a multilateral forum for the international police and prosecutors to strengthen international security relations and counter-narcotics cooperation.
Drug-related intelligence will be shared at the conference and participants are expected to develop operational strategies that can be used to combat transnational organised criminal organisations involved in the illicit drug trade.