William Mitchell reports.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, says all major crimes are down 11 per cent for the first five months of this year when compared to the corresponding period for last year.

But, murders are down by only 1 per cent this year in comparison to 2019.

Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, and a number of his Deputy Commissioners addressed the nation this afternoon, via video conference.

The States of Public Emergency and COVID-19 were high on the agenda of the police as they outlined the reductions in all major crimes.

And, the top brass of the Constabulary also provided updates on the high profile cases of Jazmine Dean and Jodian Fearon.

While much of Jamaica’s attention has been focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the JCF has been making strides in reducing the impact of the country’s crime problem.

In fact, over the period January 1 to May 31 this year, the police say there has been an 11-percent decline in all major crimes.

Information provided by the police shows there’s been a 1-percent reduction in murders since the start of the year.

Among the highlights of the crime fight is a 41-per cent case clear-up rate in major crimes.

According to the Police Commissioner, the States of Public Emergency in effect across half of the nation’s 14 parishes continue to be effective in driving down crime.

The police attribute much of the crime reduction to new strategies like improved case management systems and their ability to link investigations.

Deputy Commissioner in Charge of the Crime Portfolio, Fitz Bailey, says these advances have allowed the police to make more arrests and secure additional convictions.

Pointing to last year’s conviction of Tesha Miller, DCP Bailey says the police are committed to closing cold cases, with more than 8-hundred people charged in relation to cases dating back to 2001.

DCP Bailey also adds investigations are advanced into the matters of Jodian Fearon and Jasmine Dean.

Meanwhile, in an effort to build on these successes, Commissioner Anderson says the police are advanced in their procurement of body-worn cameras.

Coronavirus Hindering JCF-INDECOM Discussions

Meanwhile, Commissioner Anderson says the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered ongoing discussions between the police and the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM.

Commissioner of INDEOM, Terrence Williams, raised concerns that the police were impeding investigations by the oversight body.

He says the JCF was doing so by refusing to submit to 10 requests for informal identification parades over the last two years.

But, Police Commissioner Anderson says discussions were held earlier this year.

INDECOM also criticized the police for their apparent neglect of detention centres under their purview.

But, the Police Commissioner Anderson says the police will have to investigate specific claims, while defending the need to keep many people in detention.

Antony Anderson, Commissioner of Police.