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 / 13 MAY 2022

Jamaica's government has signaled plans to incorporate some new tricks to raise the cost of engaging in lottery scamming, having…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 10 FEB 2022

Jamaica's country's prime minister has promised to stem the violence by clamping down on illegal firearms.

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…