The latest Police statistics reveal there’s been an overall 5-percent reduction in serious and violent crimes so far this year when compared to last year.

The information was revealed in a statement today from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the JCF. However, the Police say murders have increased by 4-percent so far this year compared to the corresponding period for 2017.

The JCF says that as at Sunday, April 7 this year, there’s been 385 murders committed in Jamaica. This represents a 4-percent increase when compared to last year.

However, this is down from a 17-percent increase in murders which had been reported in February this year.

The JCF says as of April 7 this year shootings are up marginally with a 0.6 percent uptick, while there’s been a 17.6-percent reduction in the number of reported cases of rape and a 33-percent reduction in aggravated assault.

The JCF says of note is that in St. James, where there is a State of Public Emergency and a Zone of Special Operation, 46-fewer murders have been recorded in the parish when compared to last year.

This represents a just over 66 percent reduction in murders in St. James. However, the St. Catherine North Division has recorded an approximately 34-percent increase in murders when compared to 2017.

Since the declaration of a State of Public Emergency in that Division, reports are only two murders have been committed. Both killings have reportedly been attributed to domestic disputes.

Meanwhile, the Kingston Western Division has seen a 7.5-percent reduction in murders.

According to the JCF, the gun continues to be the main tool used in murders – featuring in 81.4 percent of the murders recorded this year. The Police are reminding people to report information about guns to Crime Stop by calling 311.

The JCF is also reminding the public there’s a reward available for information leading to the seizure of guns and arrest of wanted persons.

In the meantime, the Police say approximately 205-firearms, including 15 rifles and 150 pistols have been seized since the start of the year.

Additionally, a total of $100-million is available for the recovery of guns, ammunition and explosives. The payout for information leading to the seizure of a rifle or sub-machine gun is $150,000. The reward for information which leads to the seizure of a pistol or shotgun is $100,000.

The payout for information leading to the seizure of explosives and ammunition is negotiable.