Jamaica’s murder rate has begun to slow down since the start of the year.

The latest crime statistics from the police show Jamaica’s murder rate up to March 24 is up just 3 percent over the corresponding period last year.

However, this is down from 16-percent at the end of January. This year, 327 persons have been killed between January 1 and March 24, compared to 318 for the corresponding period last year.

The statistics also show all other categories of crimes except larceny and robbery decreasing over the period. The St. Andrew South Police Division showed the highest percentage increase in murders at a whopping 310-percent.

The division has had 41 murders compared to 10 during the same time last year. However, comparatively St. James– the division which had the highest increase of murders last year— has shown a substantial decrease.

The parish recorded 17 murders so far this year, compared to 56 over the same period last year. That’s an almost 70-percent decrease. This could be attributed to the State of Emergency which was declared in the Parish in January.

Commenting on positive trend last week, Minister of National Security, Robert Montague says the government is attempting to bring murders below last year’s figures before the end of 2018.