FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Commanding officer for Trelawny Police Division Senior Superintendent Kirk Ricketts has attributed the novel coronavirus pandemic and strategies implemented by the police high command for the 16 per cent drop in major crimes in the parish since the start of the year when compared to the same period last year.
Addressing the monthly general meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Council last week, Senior Superintendent Ricketts said up to May 8 only two of the seven major categories of offences had shown an increase this year, when compared to the corresponding period in 2019.
“Up to Saturday [May 8], we are looking at a reduction of 10 per cent in murders, 50 per cent in shootings, 33 per cent in robberies, 11 per cent in aggravated assaults, 44 per cent in break-ins a total of 16 per cent reduction in major crimes in the parish,” he told the meeting.
He added that five of the nine murders committed in the parish so far this year have been solved.
“There are a number of variables that play into this reduction, but I think key of all would be how the crime strategies are being used by the police as well as the cooperation of the citizens,” said Ricketts, adding that “even though the [corona] virus has had a dampening effect on crime, countermeasures had to be put in place for empty streets due to the virus.”
“Persons are not readily available to be robbed, shot, or killed because they’re home. However, now we have desolate streets in the nights, we have to now focus on the more vulnerable areas and locations, as we would have seen an increase in break-ins, so we have to put things in place to prevent that,”Ricketts explained.
And arguing that domestic disputes and aggravated assaults may be increased as more people are now home due to the protocols associated with the virus, Ricketts said his team has improved on their responsiveness to such situations, and will improve even more since he has received additional human and physical resources.
“We are placing emphasis on domestic issues as well, because at this time some persons are locked into abusive home situations, however, we are happy to say that there has been a reduction in aggravated assaults. It is a small reduction, but we are happy for any reduction. We try to be as responsive as possible to calls for help to reduce the number of aggravated assaults,” said Ricketts.
Added Ricketts: “We have received some improvements as it relates to human and physical resources, and we continue to see these improvements coming from the commissioner and the high command, as we have been given a batch of new JCF [Jamaica Constabulary Force] members, and we have also received three new SUVs [sport utility vehicle], one sedan motor car, and one 15-seater minibus.”
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive