The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) got the equivalent of a physical blow to the head on Monday after it circulated statistics that showed the country’s crime figures as trending downwards.
According to the JCF, Jamaica’s 2019 crime count is one of the lowest that the policing body has seen in the last 15 years. The organization further added that there was not only a decline in the numbers of murders (just over 1300 were killed in 2019) but that all categories of major crimes trended downwards over the last decade. The JCF went on to boast that this was a “signal of important progress”.
However, the “signal of progress” seems to have only been visible to the JCF, as Jamaicans took to social media in droves to bash the post, noting that the information shared was a signal that the force needed to hire more educated individuals. Many commentators lamented at the absurdity of a post, which they say is a clear indication of propaganda.
“This is [an] absolutely scandalous use of statistics by the JCF. It reflects the force’s nonchalance regarding crimes as serious as murders. Where are the figures for last year compared to 2018? ‘Beginning of the decade?’ Shameless,” said one Facebook user.
“It’s sad that the JCF a try make things seem like Jamaicans are stupid. A 15- year comparison. Now with that said prior to 2017 there was no state of emergency or ZOSO in place and, sadly since their implementation, things seemed good at first until it was over-used. Now look at the figures and tell me what’s there to be proud of? JCF you have failed in my opinion. Sorry,” added another Facebook user.
Others who saw the post thought that it was not only disingenuous but showed scant regard for human life. “I totally agree with you, the people collecting the data are so matter of fact, as if they were referring to agricultural products and not a human life, so callous,” said one social media user.
In 2019, Jamaica recorded a 3.4% increase in murders and a 3.6% increase in major crimes when compared with 2018.