Jamaica’s latest crime figures show that 204 people were killed during the period January 1 to February 17.
This is up from 175 during the corresponding period last year, a 17 per cent increase.
The St Catherine North Division, which comprises areas such as Spanish Town, recorded 30 murders, followed by Clarendon with 27, Westmoreland 20, St Andrew South 21, and St Catherine South 13.
Thirteen murders were committed in St James, which has been under a State of Emergency since mid-January. That incresed security presence, involving the police and the military, seems to have yielded positive results, reflected in a drop in the number of murders in that western parish.
The statistics also show that cops have seized 129 illegal guns and 1534 rounds of ammunition since January.