HomeNewsBriefIncrease in Killings by Jamaica Police Raises Questions
BRIEF

Increase in Killings by Jamaica Police Raises Questions

JAMAICA / 3 MAR 2017 BY LEONARDO GOI EN

Killings by police in Jamaica are on the rise following a significant decline observed over the last three years, calling into question what could be behind the rebound in violence and whether it is likely to continue.

According to data from Jamaica's Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), 31 people were killed by police officers in January and February 2017, a 55 percent increase from the same period last year. Security forces injured another 11 other people, reported Caribbean360.

"The new Commissioner of Police and the Constabulary will be overseeing a fatality rate that has not been seen since 2013, where the figures reached over 200," said INDECOM Assistant Commissioner Hamish Campbell.

Campbell added that 15 of those killed by Jamaica's Constabulary Force were not armed.

The rise in killings by police comes on the heels of a prolonged and significant decline. INDECOM Commissioner Terrence Williams noted that the number of killings committed by security forces between 2014 and 2016 was less than half the number registered between 2011 and 2013. 

INDECOM was established in 2010 following the killing of 70 civilians in a police operation, and has previously been credited for the significant decrease in police fatal shootings.

InSight Crime Analysis

It's probably too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the increased violence by police. Two months is a small sample size, and it may prove to be an outlier rather than a new trend. The steep reduction in killings between 2014 and 2016 is a much more significant data point that would suggest the police have made progress scaling back their use of lethal force.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Jamaica

Even if killings fall back down to prior levels, however, excessive violence by Jamaica's security officers remains a major source of concern. In its 2017 State of the World's Human Rights Report, Amnesty International found that unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions continue to plague the country, while police forces still refuse to take responsibility for the human rights violations and deaths committed during a state of emergency declared in 2010.

And in a separate report published in November 2016, Amnesty said that, "Jamaican authorities and local police are promoting a culture of fear amongst women and their families in marginalized communities to cover up thousands of alleged unlawful police killings amid systematic injustice."

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CARIBBEAN / 7 SEP 2011

Top Jamaican security officials will meet with their Cuban counterparts to strengthen anti-narcotics cooperation between the two countries.

CARIBBEAN / 9 NOV 2011

A State Department official predicts that over the next few years traffickers will increasingly return to using the Caribbean to…

CARIBBEAN / 14 SEP 2012

A new United States Senate report argues that the Caribbean faces a potential security crisis, and that the US must…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…