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  Golding promises more crime-fighting measures

Dated: 19/05/10

Prime Minister Bruce Golding made another declaration during his address to the nation on Monday that the Government will tackle the crime problem with "vigour, confidence and determination" . Data obtained by The Gleaner indicate that 640 people have been killed across the island since the start of the year. This is 87 more than the number of murders recorded during the corresponding period last year. The weekly statistics of the Jamaica Constabulary Force show that 38 of the victims were killed in gang-related incidents, 17 in domestic violence and five in drug-related incidents. Based on the crime figures, the police are yet to establish the motive behind 415 of murders committed since January 1. Other criminal acts, including robbery, were behind the deaths of another 161 people. With 101 reported cases of murders, St James, has been the most volatile police division, according to the crime statistics. This is followed by St Catherine North, 77, which covers the hotbed of Spanish Town, St Andrew South and Clarendon, 73 each, and St Catherine South, 57. Cleared-up crimes The police have reported that they have cleared up 188 of the cases. In the meantime, the police said, up to Sunday they seized 13,092 rounds of ammunition and 249 illegal guns. The weapons include 15 rifles, 15 shotguns, nine sub-machine guns, 135 semi-automatic pistols, 49 revolvers and 26 home-made guns. It was against this background that Golding announced on Monday that he intends to seek parliamentary approval for the six anti-crime bills, the DNA Evidence Act and new gang legislation to strengthen the capacity of the State to fight crime. Golding said measures to prevent the award of government contracts to individuals linked to criminal activities would also be pursued. He also repeated his promise of the appointment of a special prosecutor to fight corruption, whistleblower legislation to help in fighting crime and corruption, and an independent commission to investigate abuses by the security forces. Victims Weapons used 490 Gun 76 Knife 22 Machete 52 Other weapons Total: 640 The victims include: 57 females 21 children 4 members of the police force. Up to Sunday, there were 24 reported double murders, one triple murder and one quadruple homicide.