Despite recording the highest homicide rate in the Caribbean in 2021, the latest crime perception report commissioned by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), indicates that Jamaicans feel safer in their neighbourhoods than previous surveys.
The study found Jamaica’s homicide rate of 46.5 per 100,000 people in 2020 was the highest of any country in the Americas. Despite official statistics showing that crime dropped in 2020, the study cites a possible trending in the wrong direction with homicides after 2021. This they say attracted international attention with Interpol naming Jamaica a hub for organized crime in the Caribbean and the US State Department issuing travel advisories for sections of the island.
It did not end there as it further states that half of Jamaicans identify security as the most important issue facing the country. The study also found that nearly one in five Jamaicans feels insecure in their neighbourhood and its estimated one in 14 Jamaicans has been a victim of crime in the past year. It notes that almost a quarter of the Jamaican people and more than a third of those in Kingston feel that gangs have at least some influences in their neighbourhood. Much of what is already established by local security data, as justification for the existing enhanced security measures.
Meantime, it was not all doom and gloom for Jamaica this time around. Watch the report for more details: