Jamaica: 2009 Murders Near 1,600, Top Last Year

Published December 7, 2009

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A recent spate of killings has driven Jamaica's homicide count to nearly 1,600 people this year — more than in all 2008 and approaching a record set four years ago.

Assistant police chief Glenmore Hinds said Monday that in response to rising crime, authorities are launching an anti-gang effort in the capital, Kingston, and Clarendon and St. James parishes. He did not elaborate.

Police say 1,574 people were slain in 2008. A record 1,674 were killed in 2005.

The island is still seeking a replacement for ex-Police Chief Hardley Lewin, who resigned last month after the prime minister voiced concerns about spiraling crime.

The Caribbean island of 2.8 million people has one of the world's highest murder rates.

Written by Associated Press

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