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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINGSTON1321
2005-05-24 16:40:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

JAMAICA: CRIME SNAPSHOT FOR MAY 9 - 20

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  KCRM  SNAR  JM 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINGSTON 001321 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR WHA/CAR (BENT), INL/LP (KBROWN)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCRM SNAR JM
SUBJECT: JAMAICA: CRIME SNAPSHOT FOR MAY 9 - 20


The following is a snapshot of crime in Kingston:



1. Crime Statistics


2. Another Police Officer Slain in the Line of Duty


3. Prime Minister Calls Crucial Meeting on Corruption


4. Gunmen Open Fire on Passenger Bus Filled with School
Children



--------------------------


Crime Statistics - Nothing New


--------------------------





1. The following are statistics accumulated by the Jamaica
Constabulary Force (JCF) for the period January 1 through May
20, 2005. There was a decrease of eight percent in major
crimes committed, a total of 3,151 compared to 3,438 for the
same time period last year. NAS Law Enforcement Development
Advisor stated that the JCF attribute this to individuals not
reporting crimes due to fear of reprisals. The number of
homicides have increased by 37 percent, with guns being the
weapon of choice used in 493 of the 641 murders committed.
Two hundred and thirty-five guns were recovered and 37 were
reported stolen.



--------------------------

---
Another Police Officer Slain in the Line of Duty


--------------------------

---



2. On Thursday, May 12, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)
Constable Desmond Douglas was shot and killed in the Olympic
Gardens section of Kingston during the search for a wanted
man. Media reports have alleged that one of the apprehended
suspects was deported from the U.S. after serving time for
various crimes and another suspect was killed on the scene
when a gunbattle ensued. (Note: Poloff spoke with the JCF's
liaison to the diplomatic corps who advised that there was no
evidence that any of the suspects are deportees. Post's
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attach will
conduct an independent check to ascertain whether any of the
suspects were deported from the U.S. End Note.) Douglas'
death brings the number of policemen killed in the line of
duty since January 1 to nine.



--------------------------



--------------------------


Prime Minister Calls Crucial Meeting on Corruption


--------------------------



--------------------------





3. On May 11, Prime Minister P. J. Patterson issued a news
release requesting a meeting on May 13 with permanent
secretaries, board chairpersons and chief executive officers

SIPDIS
in the public sector to build a plan to improve the way
corruption can be detected and anti-corruption measures
strengthened. Patterson stated the fight against corruption
was central to good governance and that he regarded it as a
personal responsibility, thus he would "do everything to win

the fight." (Note: Corruption as a political issue is a
recurring one. Patterson was embarrassed in March when close
friend and political ally, Alston Stewart, Executive Chairman
of the National Solid Waste Management Agency (NSWMA), became
embroiled in a messy corruption scandal at NSWMA that
involved shoddy accounting. The seemingly untouchable
Stewart denied any wrongdoing and eventually resigned, but he
made a bad situation worse by profanely "telling off" critics
in a press conference. End Note.)



4. The agencies that were represented at the May 13 meeting
were the Public Services Commission, Auditor General's
Department, and the Contractor General, all of which have the
level of authority and public responsibility to assist in
dealing with complaints, perceptions of corruption,
efficiency in public management relating to cost overruns as
well as estimates on contracts awarded.



5. During the meeting, the PM announced that the powers of
the commission with responsibility for appointment and
discipline of public officers, police and local government
employees will be reviewed to allow the Commission to
promptly investigate and remove from office persons whose
conduct brings the public sector into disrepute. Other
amendments would be made to compel public bodies to follow
the government's procurement guidelines and to allow for
sanctions, whether or not the breaches are of a financial
nature.



6. Finally, the Evidence Act will be reviewed to allow for
evidence that was collected by way of new technologies to be
admissible in court. (Comment: While the call for review of
corruption initiatives is good, there may be little to
sustain it. The police and other investigative authorities
continue to lack the will and resources to tackle the problem
head on. End Comment.)



--------------------------



--------------------------


Gunmen Open Fire on Passenger Bus filled with School Children


--------------------------



--------------------------





7. On Thursday, May 12, shortly after 3:00 p.m., the driver
of a Toyota Coaster bus carrying a group of children home
along Maxfield Avenue in West Kingston, came under fire from
a group of six gunmen armed with high powered weapons. The
men attempted to open the doors of the bus, but when they
were unsuccessful, opened fire damaging the front windshield.
One child was injured by flying glass, but no one was
killed. No one has been arrested in this incident. Maxfield
Avenue, an area which is off limits to Embassy personnel, is
a high crime area.
ROBINSON