Jamaica Gleaner / Thirty-seven days into the year the police are reporting that 156 persons have been murdered across the island.
The report indicated, too, that police investigators have arrested and charged a suspect in just seven per cent or eleven of the killings.
In the first 37 days last year, there were 132 murders, which means homicides are up 18 per cent.
Jamaica recorded 1,616 murders last year, the highest since 2009 when 1,680 persons were killed.
The latest Periodic Serious and Violent Crime Review compiled by the Jamaica Constabulary Force show that while the security forces have managed to contain the killings in St James where there is now a state of public emergency, there has been an increase in other hotspots.
According to the police report, there were 12 killings in St James up to last Saturday, a decrease of 42 per cent when compared with the 21 recorded over the corresponding period last year.
St James would end 2017 with a record 335 murders.
Meanwhile, in the first 37 days of this year there have been 22 killings in the St Catherine North Police Division where some of the country’s most feared criminal gangs are based.
This is 57 per cent higher than the 14 murders reported across the division over the corresponding period last year.
The St Catherine South Police reported eleven murders, an increase of 175 per cent when compared with just four over the similar period last year.
The police also revealed that 22 persons have been killed in Clarendon since January 1, compared to 14 for the corresponding period last year while the St Andrew South Police reported 15 murders, nine more than last year.
St Thomas, which recorded just over 20 murders all of last year, has already reported eight killings.