July bloodiest month in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica – One hundred and 60 persons were killed across the island in July, the bloodiest month so far since the start of the year.

This moved the country’s murder total for the first seven months of the year to 908, with an average of almost 130 murders each month.

But that is still better than the first seven months of 2008, when 962 persons were killed at an average of 138 murders each month.

In fact, the murder total for January to July 2009 is almost six per cent lower than the corresponding period last year.

July seriously blotted the scorecard of the cops, who were reporting a 10 per cent reduction in murders up to June, when compared with the period January to June last year.

Spike in murders

Figures released by the Police High Command showed a 24 per cent spike in murders in July 2009, when compared with July 2008.

Shootings climbed by 34 per cent while rapes jumped by 32 per cent. The number of robberies reported also climbed by 34 per cent while the number of larceny cases increased by 83 per cent.

A 19 per cent decline in the number of reported cases of carnal abuse represented the only positive news in the figures released by the police.

Overall, major crimes climbed by 35 per cent last month when compared with July 2008.

This time the victims included 14 women and five children, while in July 2008 11 women and five children were killed.

Police detectives linked 10 of last month’s murders to the illegal drugs trade, four were during domestic disputes, 31 were during what the police dubbed other criminal acts, while no motive has been established for 115 of the killings.